Don't Let Distraction Cost You Your Holiday Cheer
People, whether they are distracted by the holidays, the sales and merchandise or whether they are just filled with “good cheer” tend to let their guard down this time of year. Crooks have families too and may use that knowledge to take purses from grocery carts, packages from unlocked cars or tools from job sites to sell for gifts for their own families or for their own use.
One suggestion I have is DO NOT ADVERTISE just to be cool. There is a recent trend in the Charleston area and my guess is, elsewhere, to put cooler brand stickers on the backs of vehicles. All that tells me is that you probably own one of these high end coolers and that you probably have it in the back of your truck or in a boat at your house where it can easily be made off with, along with anything else of value that I might find. The same goes for gun brand stickers. While they may look cool to your friends, they just tell me that there is likely a gun in your truck or at the minimum, at your house. A friend once told me that he wasn’t concerned about break-ins because he had an NRA sticker on his mailbox, next to his front door. I explained that by the time a bad guy sees it, he is already at the front door and now knows to look for more than just TVs and computers. I explained that it would probably work well so long as he never left the house, but once he leaves, game on.
The other advertising that we sometimes do is by leaving indicators of treasure inside vehicles. If you leave the power cord to a laptop or earphones to an iPod in plain view inside your car, that just tells crooks that there is a pretty good chance that the device they go with is somewhere inside the vehicle. If the crook is wrong, at a minimum you have to replace a window (if the car was locked) and hope that it hasn’t rained since the window was broken. If they are right, you get to deal with all of the above, plus replacing the item and everything it contained. (Do you still have all the CDs you used to start your iTunes account or a back-up of everything ion your phone or computer? If you just bought someone an iPad, don’t leave the box on the front seat while you make your next stop even if it is for “just a minute”. Don’t leave your car unlocked at the gas station while you run in to pay or to get a cup of coffee. You never know who might be parked beside you, looking for an opportunity to fill up on more than just gas.