With the holiday season upon us, it is important to remember that people become careless and vulnerable to thefts and other holiday scams. A few simple suggestions and some common sense awareness can help make the season happy and trouble free. Remember to:
“¢ Shop during daylight hours if possible. If you must shop in the evening, go with a friend or family member.
“¢ Dress casually and comfortably and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
“¢ Do not carry a purse or wallet.
“¢ Always carry your New Jersey Driver’s License with necessary cash and credit cards in a front pocket or place them in a zippered pocket or secure area of your clothing.
“¢ Notify your credit card company promptly if your cards are lost or stolen. Credit card theft and illegal usage is a BILLION dollar industry. Over 100,000 stolen credit cards are currently being offered on the internet by organized crime rings in what are now called “cyber-bazaars.” Mostly Asian and former Soviet Union crime rings are orchestrating these crimes.
“¢ Remember and make a note of where you parked your car. Although it sounds elementary, the mall parking areas are large and expansive and it easy to lose track of where your car is located. It is effortless to walk a long distance without any burdensome packages, but the trip back with bags and bags of purchases make you a prime target for criminals.
“¢ While walking to your car, keep your head up and stay alert. If you feel uncomfortable or you just get that “uneasy feeling”, trust your instincts and go back inside the store. ALL malls and stores will be happy to escort you to your car and help. Remember, you are the customer and they want your return business. They will assist you with most any reasonable request.
“¢ Route 4 and Route 17 highways are top traffic alert areas from Thanksgiving to a week after the New Year Years. Be prepared for delays and backups near these highways. Also note that you must have a hands free device when using a cell phone while driving. Hands free means exactly that. The cell phone can not be in your hands while operating a vehicle (except for emergencies). The Teaneck Police and other law enforcement officers will vigilant in enforcing this law. Texting while driving is also a violation . It is said 20% of all drivers text while driving. This statistic goes to 60% for young drivers ages 17-25. Be careful and stop in a safe area to use the cell phones.
“¢ The shopping areas are full of distractions and the hustle and bustle of other people is sometimes overwhelming. Try to be alert and aware of your surroundings. Remember, we are still a target for terrorists and the Homeland Alert status is still elevated. Be aware of suspicious activity or packages while you shop or travel. If you see something that appears out of place, IMMEDIATELY contact store security or call 911 on your phone.
“¢ If you are going away, make sure your home is secured and leave your contact information with a trusted neighbor or friend. Stop the newspaper and mail and use light timers to give the appearance that someone is home. Make arrangements for someone to shovel snow and keep a watch on your home while your gone.
The Teaneck Police Department, under the leadership of Chief Robert A. Wilson, would like to wish all our fellow residents a healthy and prosperous holiday season and a happy new year. If you have any question or concerns, you may contact the Teaneck Police Department Community Poling Bureau anytime at: 201-837-8759 or e-mail me at: email@example.com.