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Scotch Plains/Fanwood — Letters to the Editor

Message from the Chief of Police

Chief Richard Trigo

Sunday, December 15, 2013 • 7:54am

            With the holidays nearing many residents and business owners
alike are preparing for the holidays and tending to their holiday
shopping. Unfortunately, thieves are also busy shopping during the month
of December and looking to see what they can steal from you! When
leaving your home or shopping, please be mindful of the below listed
shopping safety tips and home safety tips:

                SHOPPING SAFETY TIPS
•       Do not leave purchased items visible in the car, leave them in the
trunk.
•       While shopping in the evening hours may be less crowded, there are
also additional potential risks involved. Park in areas of parking lots
that have adequate lighting, and consider shopping with someone rather than
going alone.
•       Make sure purses and wallets are secure on your person and you are
aware of their location at all times.
•       Keep the amount of available cash you have at a minimum or separate
it into different pockets or locations on or about your person. This way
all of it is not lost if your purse or wallet is misplaced or stolen.
•       Credit cards offer convenience and security, however, keep track of
all cards and keep receipts to compare to your monthly statement.
•       Remain aware of your surroundings at all times and move to and from
your vehicle with confidence and "purpose". Have keys ready before
getting to your car so you do not have to search for them while standing
near it.
•       Report suspicious people or activity to law enforcement
immediately!

HOME SAFETY TIPS WHILE AWAY
•       Valuable items, such as televisions, stereos, and computers should
be inscribed with an identifying number unique to its owner (do not use
your entire social security number).
•       Create an up-to-date home inventory including make, model, serial
numbers, other detailed descriptions, and photographs of items of value
(including jewelry). This inventory should be kept somewhere safe, out
of the house.
•       At least two light timers should be set to turn the lights and TV on
and off in a logical sequence when away for an extended time period to
give the appearance that someone is home.
•       The alarm system (if you have one) should be activated when you
leave home.
•       Mail and newspaper deliveries should be stopped or arrangements for
a neighbor/friend to pick them up should be made when you are away from
home for a period of time.
•       Ask a trusted neighbor to tend the yard, shovel the snow, and watch
your home when you are away or have a trusted friend or relative house
sit in your absence.
•       Make sure all doors and windows are locked when you leave, even if
you have an alarm system.


            The Fanwood Police Department offers vacant house security
checks for when residents are away from their homes for extended periods
of time. This service is offered free of charge to residents. Vacant
house forms are available in the lobby of police headquarters  or online
at www.fanwoodpolice.org. Completed forms should be dropped off to the
police department during business hours.

            During the holiday season the Fanwood Police Department will
have officers in both marked and unmarked vehicles, as well as foot
patrols to patrol residential and shopping areas in town to help make
the holidays safe for residents, merchants and shoppers, while also
deterring thieves of their holiday shopping agenda.

            On behalf of the Fanwood Police Department, I would like to
wish everyone a safe and happy Holiday season!


Chief Richard Trigo
Fanwood Police Department

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