Crime Statistics Rising

Crime During the Holidays

As we move towards the holidays it is time to become even more conscious of safety, as crime statistics increase, particularly in this poor economy. Safety considerations would include your home, your car and when you are out shopping or dining in a restaurant.What is crime? Crimes come in many varieties and they are the breach of laws that constitute an offense that is punishable by law. Youth crime and cyber crime are the faster rising crime rates.

Auto Thief at Work

Source

Auto Theft Crime

In my area, crime statistics have improved, except for crimes involving auto theft and stealing items from cars. This is considered a “crime of opportunity”. In almost all of these cases the cars were left unlocked, which makes life much easier for the criminal. It is important to close your sun or moon roof, roll up all windows and that you lock your vehicle. Try to leave most of your valuables at home or keep them locked in your trunk where they are not visible. Crime investigators will often find these items and pawn shops.

The types of things that are most commonly stolen from cars are:

  • Portable personal entertainment systems
  • Prescription drugs
  • Global positioning satellite systems (I have a Garmin and I always set it on the floor and cover it before leaving my car to go into a store.)
  • Credit cards, check books, PDAs
    Keys and remotes
  • Cameras, Laptop computers, Briefcases
  • Cell phones, Compact disc
  • Pullout stereo systems
  • Address books, receipts
  • Purses, jewelry and money
  • Jackets, Gym bags and Sports equipment
  • Luggage
  • Garage door openers
  • Your identity!

Crime Investigator

Source

Other Types of Crime

If you leave your keys in the car even for a few minutes, your car can be stolen and it probably has your address in the glove compartment on your registration, plus many have a garage door opener. This gives the thief entrance to your home while you are stuck at whatever location your car was stolen. Youth crime statistics are rapidly rising.

Another example of car safety is when shopping stay alert, especially when walking back to your car. If there are any strange people or perhaps an occupied van parked next to your car,

it is a good idea to go back to the store and get someone from security to walk you to your car. If you have a lot of packages, put them in your trunk, and if you plan to do more shopping it's a good idea to move your car to another area to park. Park in well-lit areas away from shrubbery and don't park behind buildings. Lock your doors as soon as you get in your car.

If you leave your keys in the car even for a few minutes, your car can be stolen and it probably has your address in the glove compartment on your registration, plus many have a garage door opener. This gives the thief entrance to your home while you are stuck at whatever location your car was stolen.

Crime News

Another newer crime is check washing. Criminals are able to wash everything you’ve written on your check, yet maintain your signature. There are Gel pens available that will prevent this crime and are certainly worth the small cost as the ink permeates the whole paper.

Another crime that is not uncommon, is credit card fraud, which can happen in restaurants as your credit card is taken to another area of the restaurant for payment. Stay alert!

Another household tip is to keep a can of wasp spray handy. It is very handy if a burglar breaks into your house as it will shoot 30’ and you aim for the eyes. This will stop a burglar in his tracks.

Keeping Your Home Secure

As the Christmas season approaches most homes have a lot of beautiful gifts, and there are some simple things you can do to keep your home more secure. Of course, a home alarm system and a large dog are certainly deterrents. Close drapes or blinds when it starts to get dark. If you're out for the evening leave some lights and a radio on so it might appear that someone is home. Keep your windows locked and be careful to lock all your doors when you leave. If you are traveling get an automatic timer for your lights. Also, ask a neighbor to watch your home; stop your mail and newspaper delivery

Seniors are More Vulnerable

Seniors are more vulnerable to some kind types of crimes, particularly frauds and con games. While seniors have a lifetime of experience, they have physical problems associated with age and quite often and they are fearful of burglaries and physical attack, and they are victims of crime. Cyber crime has also risen and it is very difficult to overcome all the problems that occur when your identity is stolen. Seniors are not as alert to frauds.

Some guidelines to provide safety for seniors include:

  • Go out with family or friends, but not alone.
  • Carry your purse close to your body and put your wallet in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket.
  • Don't carry credit cards you don't need or large amounts of cash.
  • Use direct deposit for Social Security and other regular checks.
  • Always keep your doors locked while traveling and park near the entrance.
  • If you're riding a bus, train or the subway sit close to the driver or near the exit.
  • If someone makes you uneasy, trust your instincts and leave.
  • Don't hide keys in your mailbox, under the doormat or the nearest planter to your front door. It is a better idea to leave your keys with neighbor or friend
  • Make sure your street address number is in large numbers, clear of obstruction and well lit, so police and emergency personnel can find your home easily.
  • Don't fall for anything that sounds too good to be true.
  • Never give your credit card, social security number or bank account number to anyone over the phone. It is illegal for telemarketers to ask for these numbers to verify a prize or gift.
  • Read any contractor sales agreement carefully and don't let anyone rush you into signing.
  • Beware of individuals claiming to represent companies, government agencies or consumer organizations that offer recovery of lost money from a fraudulent telemarketer for a fee.
  • If you're suspicious of any company check it out with the Better Business Bureau or call the National Consumers League Fraud Information at 800-876-7060.

Senior Scams

Source

Summary

Many Sheriff departments have websites that give you a wealth of information. You can look online to see if there are sexual predators living in your neighborhood. Sometimes you can also see what recent crimes have been committed in your area. Another thing that you can do is join a Neighborhood Watch Program or you can start a program if there's not one available in your neighborhood.

Be safe and always conscious of the people around you when you're out of the house. Have a wonderful holiday season!

Victims of Crime

Have you ever been the victim of crime?

  • I have had my automobile stolen.
  • I have had things stolen out of my car.
  • I have had my house broken into and several items stolen.
  • I have had my purse stolen.
  • I have had more than two of the above items happen to me.
  • I have never had anything stolen from me.
See results without voting

© 2011 Pamela Oglesby

More by this Author


Comments 51 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I cannot believe the number of people that will go into a convenience store leaving their car running and the keys in it. I always lock my car even if I know I am only going to be in the store for three minutes. In this day and age it's better to be safe than sorry.

Excellent hub with great ways to stay safe.


"Quill Again" 4 years ago

Morning Pam... interesting read. People today need to be more aware than ever before. The days of leaving houses, cars etc unlocked and unattended are a thing of the past. Thank you for the reminder. The small community I live in is relatively crime free, we take pride in looking after each other. The need to do so has become increasingly important... we just need to become more aware of our own actions and open invitations to criminals.

Blessings and Hugs


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Connecting with a police department to see if they have self-defense and/or safety classes is also a way to connect with people in our communities. Those connections are important in and of themselves. Good hub for getting us thinking--thanks!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Susan, I am like you as I always lock my car and I lock it again as soon as I get back in. Thanks for your comments.

Quill, I am not surprised that a small community would look out after each other. That is really nice but I know you still have to be cautious in this day and time. Thanks you so much for your comments. Blessings and hugs to you too.

RTalloni, I agree and didn't think to add that into this hub. It is important to learn self defense if possible. I appreciate your comments.


JY3502 profile image

JY3502 4 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

Very good Pam. I picked up a few things I hadn't thought of before. Voted up as usual.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

JY, I am glad the article was helpful and I appreciate your comments.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Most cars (mines a 2002 PT Cruiser) and if you leave you keys in the car with the motor running your car will lock you OUT! I've seen people do that when they run into a convenience store. Good Timely Hub Pamela, lots of useful, and informative information...Especially the Senior Scams...It's so sad for they are the True Victims.


kellymom1970 profile image

kellymom1970 4 years ago

Pamela99, I love your hubs, you know everything.Lol I posted my first hub come by. Thank you


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Excellent information, Tis the season for theft, sad but true. With the economy so bad crime is more prevalent everywhere. Thank's for the warnings..


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

b. malin, I agree with you about the seniors being true victims. I didn't know the PT Cruiser did that which would certainly make you remember to turn your car off and take your keys. Thank you for your comments.

kellymom, I hate to tell you the truth that I don't know everything by a long shot! However, I appreciate the compliment. I will check out your hub. Thanks for your comment.

always exploring, That is exactly why I got the idea to write this hub. Thanks for your comments.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Great hub with useful tips. Our car was recently broken into in our own driveway and a GPS was stollen. Suffice to say our new GPS is kept in a lock box that's bolted to the car.

Thanks for posting this helpful information.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia

Up, useful, and interesting article Pamela. I like how you pointed out the higher risk during the holidays cause that is fact. People wait for this time of year and they go grab presents under the tree, among other things. A very well written article Pamela. Have a good Sunday my dear and catch you later:)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Happyboomernurse, That's a great idea. We always unplug ours and bring it into the house. Thank you for the comments.

thelyricwriter, It is sad that thieves use this time of year to steal. Thank you for your comments.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

The state of Vermont is unique, because it has never had gun control. Any law abiding citizen can legally carry a concealed weapon.

Vermont is also unique because it has the lowest crime rate of any state. Gee, could there be a connection?

Arizona recently passed a law allowing any law abiding adult to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. The predicted bloodbath not only did not happen, but crime has decreased dramatically.

Criminals target those who they believe to be helpless, like unarmed women in dark parking lots and garages.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Will, That is a good point. Alpharetta, Ga which is just north Atlanta and they have a law that says each house has to own a gun and the crime rate there is really low. I believe in concealed weapon permits. Thanks for the comments.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

A very, very important Hub. I particularly liked the advice about cars. Keeping everything out of view. (in the trunk). I will Tweet this before I exit.

Thanks.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

A Houston police officer once told me that thieves don't like messy, dirty cars, so when I had to park in high crime areas, I did not wash my car, and I kept a bag of empty fast food containers and wrappers that I spread around on the seats and floors.

I was never bothered.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Lady E, Thanks for the tweet and I am glad you liked the article. I appreciate your comments.

WillStarr, That method sure worked for you. I don't always get the car washed as often as it needs it but I never leave trash in my car. I never considered trash in the car to help prevent crime. Thanks for your comments.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 4 years ago from London, UK

Great hub and very timely with the holiday season coming up. Hasn't mankind sank low with attacking old people and raping young children? We supposed to improve over the decade as we learn more yet instead it is getting worse.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Hello, I agree with you. Thank you so much for your comments.


susan54 profile image

susan54 4 years ago

Pamela, Hi my friend. You do write so great hubs,Thanks you.Vote Up!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Susan, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.


zzron profile image

zzron 4 years ago from Houston, TX.

Hi Pam, great advice and wonderful tips especially for the holidays.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

ZZron, Thanks so much for your comments as they are greatly appreciated.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago

Good advice, especially the one about the wasp spray--never thought of that before. Check washing too--good to know how burglars/criminals work so we can be safe. Thanks and rated up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

anginwu, I'm glad you found the hub helpful. Thank you for your comments.


ImChemist profile image

ImChemist 4 years ago

I think all thieves will hate you! rated


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

ImChemist, I guess that is a good thing. Thank you for your comment.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 4 years ago from Wisconsin

An invaluable hub Pamela...especially when there are SOME holiday shoppers willing to use pepper spray to get at their prized fare. Rated up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Springboard, Isn't that the truth! That pepper spray incident was horrible and there are many other bad incidents as well. Thanks for your comments.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Hi Pam, Excellent tips to prevent getting ripped off! I never had a material item stolen but I was the victim of credit card theft. They got my number somehow and went to town with thousands of dollars of electronic equipment. Ugh I was so irate! Thanks to the internet and the help of my credit card company and Fed-Ex I was able to track them down and gave police their mailing address where the packages where being shipped to. Don't know what happened after that but they messed with the wrong person:)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Sunshine, I'm glad you came out the winner. I had my house broken into several years ago and they stole all my jewelry and some electronic type items. It was an awful experience and no one was ever caught. Thanks for sharing your experience.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Sunshine, I'm glad you came out the winner. I had my house broken into several years ago and they stole all my jewelry and some electronic type items. It was an awful experience and no one was ever caught. Thanks for sharing your experience.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 4 years ago from Wisconsin

Although the pepper spray incident still didn't trump (was it last year?) the trampled dead Walmart employee as people rushed the store for big screen TVs. OR this recent Air Jordan thing. Stuff like this makes me wonder if even the recession was a joke. People fighting for $185 shoes? In the Great Depression I don't think some people even HAD shoes, let alone a loaf of bread. I hate to say it, but what a ridiculous society we've become.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Springboard, I must agree. I have seeb people on medicaid with the expensive shoes and jewelry. We have become a "Give-me" society and I shouldn't have to work for it. I have worked since I was a teen so it is hard for me to understand or accept the way this country is headed. I appreciate your comments.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa

You article brings back many memories.

My family have been subjected to many crimes ie:- cars stolen, houses burgled, jewelry stolen and more. By the last attack on me in 2006 in Johannesburg when I was held up at gun point it was more than I could take so our whole family left the country to live in Australia.

I had been stripped of everything even my wedding ring not to mention one too many burglary's in our house.

I hope your readers take your advise.

Happy new year!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

LadyLyell, You have really had some awful experiences. I know how I felt when my house was broken into and my jewelry, among other things was stolen, but that was just 1 time. I hope Australia is treating you better. Thank you for sharing and I appreciate your comments.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa

Thank you for your support.

However, the worst attact on me was when I was driving to a client in Johannesburg and when at a slow speed several men stoned my car, actually with broken bricks. The noise was deafening which made it hard to think straight. I did get away by doing a great speed and headed straight for the police station. I stuttered for five years caused by the shock. My car was beyond repair so written off. My case was in overseas papers and when I look back on the articles I can hardly believe it all happened!

Life does go on and I have kept myself busy so as to not think back too much.

I am sorry to hear of your burglary, so awful for you.

Wishing you a happy new year and a safe one!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

LadyLyell, Your experience must have been terrifying. I can't even imagine that happening to me. It sounds like Johannesburg is not a very safe place. You are right, life goes on and it doesn't pay to think back on painful times. Living each day to the best of our ability is the way to peace for me. Thank you for writing me again. I hope your new year is a safe and happy one.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa

Johannesburg is a very crime filled city but when I had the stoning attack it was in a mini war. Due to unforeseen circumstances I (my husband and I) have to return to South Africa to live in April. We will be living on the coast in a safe enough town but one thing for sure we will not be going near the cities!

Following friends on hubpages will keep me quite occupied.

Have a nice day!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

LadyLyell, I hope you will stay safe and it is always nice to live near the coast, as I live near the Atlantic Ocean also. Thank you for your comments.


Turkic 4 years ago

Great Hub! How did you managed to get 100.000 viewers wow!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Turkic, I don't think I have that many viewers, but I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. I appreciate your comments.


billips profile image

billips 4 years ago from Central Texas

You have given a lot of good advice here - unfortunately personal safety has become a major concern in most, if not all, cities - you just can't be too careful - I am always careful and always trust my instincts - B.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

billips, I think trusting your instincts is very important also. Thank you for your comments.


lucasaraujo profile image

lucasaraujo 4 years ago from Brasil, Vitoria - ES

Great hub, very informative and interesting .. congratulations!

Voted up, interesting and userful


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

lucasaraujo, I am glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

Awesome tips. These are very practical and logical tips to observe. However, many still forget even the simplest things making them more vulnerable. In the Philippines, many thefts end in fatalities. Perpetrators are becoming bolder in their actions. Some even hurt the owners even if they give their belongings. The only thing one can do is to do preventive measures whenever possible.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

jpcmc, It is sad that our world seems to have become more violent. I don't understand killing the victim of a robbery. I agree that being observant is very important. Thanks you for your comments.


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

Hi Pamela99, many robbers attack their victims just to eliminate witnesses. What's even astonishing is that the robbers get younger and younger.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

jpcmc, That is astonishing and says a lot about how these children are raised. Thank you for your comments.

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