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Old 12-13-2014, 08:56 PM   #1  
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Default Don't be a Victim this holiday season!!

Hello Everyone!! Happy Holidays. (I say Holidays because we celebrate Hanukah and Christmas in my family!!)

Well, I don't really talk about what I do for a living on here but I decided today that I would make an exception. I work for one of the local Law Enforcement agencies here in the Metro Area of Denver Colorado. I love my job. I find it very interesting and daily I am privy to all kinds of things that are going on. I do get upset when I see things trending. I am not an officer, but I am a Civilian Agent. I'm the person that enters in the Stolen Vehicles, Stolen iPods, Warrants etc. Like I said I love it, but there are times of the year that I get very upset with what is happening, in not just my city, but EVERYWHERE in the USA. I'm sure it happens all over the world, but I do find that the USA is horrible with thieves.

With that said, I would like to extend some warnings to all of my Online Friends. A lot of this goes year around, but there are some things that are happening more frequently than any other times of the year.

Please remember to take care of the following!!

1). Package delivery. If at all possible, have your postal office make you come pick up the package. I know I know, it's a pain in the rear, but so many packages are being lifted daily this time of the year. If you really can't do that, see if there is a trusted family member or friend that lives near that is home during the day that would accept your delivery. I worked online reports yesterday at work. This is where the victim can make an online report instead of waiting for an officer. Anyway, I was on the onlines for an 8 hour shift. 75% of the reports that I took online yesterday were theft from mails. This doesn't include the reports that the officers took. It is unreal how many people are being victimized this time of the year. Packages disappearing off of the porches happens year around but there are groups of gangs and thieves that are driving around and stealing packages because a big chunk of us are doing most of our shopping online now a days.

2). Theft from Motor Vehicle. This happens ALL the time too, but this time of the year while you're out shopping and loading your car full of goodies, The thieves are having the time of their lives. Do not leave purses, wallets, iPods, or even charging cords in your vehicle. If the thief sees even a charger cord in your vehicle they are thinking in the glove compartment or console will be some electronic goodies awaiting for them. GPS that suctions to the window, (this sounds weird), but wipe off the suction print so they don't know that there is a GPS in the console. That suction cup mark on the window is a GIANT RED FLAG saying bust out my window and rummage through me.

Even if you took the device with you, they've destroyed your window to see if you had something good in the car. Remember the saying: OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND. I know it's inconvenient, but if you have an SUV, consider taking your packages home in between stores. NEVER leave your purse in the car while you run into the convenient store. A smash and grab takes about 8 seconds. If you have a car with a trunk and are set on storing your purse or other items in the car, place them in the trunk before you get to the destination. If you know you're going some where that you cannot take your purse in, put it in your trunk then drive to where you're going. If the thief sees you put it in the trunk, they know how to get in the trunk very quickly, (especially if you have an internal trunk release). Also, I read reports all the time where someone went to jog at the park. They put their purse under the seat and/or covered it with a blanket. A blanket on the floor is an obvious sign to the thief that you're covering something up and they will go for it.

I just want everyone to use extreme caution this holiday season. I've been working this job for 7 years and this is the worse year that I have seen these porch thieves and thefts from cars. It's outrageous right now. Please take care and always be on alert. This sounds harsh, but consider everyone a thief and just be pleased and surprised when they don't rip you off.

3). Shopping Cart. Also, I nearly forgot,...don't leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart even if you turn around. I see store videos of the victim standing next to their cart and purse. Thief 1 starts a conversation with the victim and thief 2 reaches into the purse and takes the wallet. Quickly the accomplice walks away.

I just hate reading all of these reports and it's a shame that we have to be diligent, but just be extra cautious. Also, never leave your car running while it warms up and go inside. Here locally, it's against the law to walk away from a running vehicle. Puffers (what we call unattended vehicles that are running), get stolen so much this time of the year. It is cold outside and there are thieves that go out at 0530am and know who does just this. They steal loads of cars this way. By the time it is reported and in the system, it's off the street. Depending on the car it could already be on the way to being stripped. A lot of times, it's just a punk that's just walking down the street, it is cold, but sees your lovely car running waiting for them to drive off with it.

I'm sorry if this brings anyone down, but I was really bummed out yesterday when I left work. I don't want anyone else having their holidays ruined by a thief. I just thought of all those people who are disappointed or their holidays will be ruined because they got ripped off. Unfortunately, people are too trusting and/or don't realize just how easily they are already the victim. I could go on and on, but most of us know how easy it is to be the mark. Just remember to pass it on to your friends on Facebook. There is an alarming amount of people who says "I just thought it would be safe on my Porch" or " I thought it would be safe locked in my car".


Happy Holidays everyone!!! Don't be a victim this year!! Pass on the info to anyone and everyone!!
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:45 PM   #2  
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Wow - this is great info. I'm going to share this with my HOA. Thank you!
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Old 12-14-2014, 04:11 AM   #3  
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Another word about purses in cars.

Besides putting it in the trunk at home, don't take it out of the trunk at a place you go to regularly. It's fine to do that for the mall when you're just there to buy and leave, but don't remove it regularly at the gym, etc.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:57 AM   #4  
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Kat, this all such awesome advice. I keep seeing reports on the local news where people have porch cameras installed that are showing thieves running up to the porches and grabbing packages. It doesn't seem to help stop the thefts just serves as a reminder to all of us that it is happening. I know that I sit at home on days that I know I have a package coming which can be a drag but at least I know I get my packages.

The comment about the purse is really true. I was at Joanns in Park Meadows recently and there sat a cart with a purse, unzipped, displaying a phone, wallet and iPod. There was not a person around so I stood guard until a harried woman came strolling back with her child. She thanked me and acknowledged her oversight. I simply warned her of all the thefts and continued on my way.

My older daughter is horrible about leaving her purse or wallet on full display in her car. Drives me crazy. I hate to say it but I trust very few people out there these days. As for the car left running for even a minute, well, I trust no one and when I drop off library books just a few steps from the curb, I turn off my car even if I see no other cars or people. Again, why give them even an ounce of chance. And my doors are locked on my car and my house always.

The other thing that I didn't see you mention is that women should not place their purses on the car seat next to them when driving. Thieves are jumping from cars and smashing windows in a grab n go as you idle at lights. I have never put my there but I know many do. These thieves really make me mad.

This is all great advice/reminders. Thanks for sharing! Hope your holiday season is wonderful))
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:09 PM   #5  
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Great words of advice!
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Old 12-14-2014, 04:56 PM   #6  
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Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:47 PM   #7  
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I just get really disturbed when I see the same reports over and over again. Thieves are brazen and will not care if anyone is watching. Especially this time of year with burly scarves and hats that can help hide identity. If they can see it they WILL eventually steal it.

I love the cameras on the porches, but they don't really stop the thief. They showed one the other day on the news the lady was slowly driving through the neighborhood following the delivery man. The problem was the cameras didn't show her license tag and/or her face. She was wearing a hat and oversized coat. Although it was great to see the make and model of the car there were no actual leads.

All I ask is to use common sense and trust no one!! I know that's pretty cold, but basic truth.
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:21 AM   #8  
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Have your packages delivered to your workplace and not your home. This works if UPS comes during the hours your workplace is open. I live in a very secure condo and they delivered 4 packages to me on SUNDAY! AND they don't even ring the doorbell.
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:29 AM   #9  
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Thanks so much for the heads up!

I am a paralegal at a law firm and see this stuff everyday. But I still need a reminder.

Also, if you are going out of town for the holidays, do not post it on social media, like face-book or twitter. Also, make sure that you either have your mail held at the post office until you get back or a family member or trusted friend pick it up for you. Install a timer on different lights in your house so they will come on at different times.
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:11 PM   #10  
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Great reminders. Thanks.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:28 PM   #11  
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Great reminders! Thank you so much for sharing!
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Old 12-17-2014, 06:05 AM   #12  
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Thank you for your great advice for us about how to be safe.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:54 PM   #13  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buddy'smamaForums at Splitcoaststampers
Thanks so much for the heads up!

I am a paralegal at a law firm and see this stuff everyday. But I still need a reminder.

Also, if you are going out of town for the holidays, do not post it on social media, like face-book or twitter. Also, make sure that you either have your mail held at the post office until you get back or a family member or trusted friend pick it up for you. Install a timer on different lights in your house so they will come on at different times.
I'm always amazed at so many bloggers who announce they will be away on holiday or teaching so no posts/guest posts/pre-posted posts will be happening! Argh!
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:27 AM   #14  
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Wow, thanks for all the awesome advice!!!

If you can, try not to even carry a purse. I have a thin sliver of a wallet, and my keys are always in my pocket. The few times in my life where I carried a purse (to weddings), it was just for looks; there was nothing of value in the purse (just pen and blank papers, for sketching). I was too paranoid to put anything of value in the purse. If I had actually put valuable things in it, I know I would not have been able to let go of the handle at all.
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:24 PM   #15  
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Here is a tip that a Walmart clerk told me about having my purse in the shopping cart.
When you place your purse in the cart, take the straps and wrap it around the purse straps twice and click the clasp in place. These are the straps that you would click around a child if they were sitting in the cart. This detains a thief. I have been doing this at every store I go in ever since.
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:32 PM   #16  
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I used to put my purse in the shopping cart when I shopped on base at the commissary in Spain, and Idaho. Never thought anything of this, but I never shopped off base with my purse in the cart.

The very first time I shopped at the commissary at Hickam AFB in Hawaii, I had a lady stop me and said NEVER leave your purse in your cart. That was in 2007.

Personal, I would not even use the cart straps to secure my purse. If a thief is carrying a knife, this would not detour them.
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Old 01-17-2015, 10:25 PM   #17  
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Well, here we get surveillance videos where I work and the issue with walking away from your purse in the cart, even if it's strapped in, is that people reach in and swipe the wallet or phone in the 2 seconds that you turn your back. Most of the time they don't take the entire purse, they snatch the wallet or iPhone and RUN.

It's best to not walk away from it. I always suggest wear it. Honestly, when I go shopping anymore, I tuck my cards and id in my back pocket or wear a cross over purse that is small and light. That way I have my phone and stuff right there and I don't have to worry about it. Saver to leave it at home when shopping I think. I have a small one that holds just that much and its light. Just my opinion
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Old 02-13-2015, 01:22 PM   #18  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by harvestmoonForums at Splitcoaststampers
Have your packages delivered to your workplace and not your home. This works if UPS comes during the hours your workplace is open. I live in a very secure condo and they delivered 4 packages to me on SUNDAY! AND they don't even ring the doorbell.
As a former mail room supervisor, I'd suggest you check with mail room personnel before having personal packages delivered to your workplace. If it's a small business, it may be ok. But it may not be allowed in some places.
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Old 02-13-2015, 05:25 PM   #19  
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Absolutely! I have never worked for a large company, so I didn't think of that!
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:05 PM   #20  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by marimooseForums at Splitcoaststampers
The other thing that I didn't see you mention is that women should not place their purses on the car seat next to them when driving. Thieves are jumping from cars and smashing windows in a grab n go as you idle at lights. I have never put my there but I know many do. These thieves really make me mad.
Further to this, be extra cautious when filling up your car at the gas station. Make sure that when you exit the car, you lock it - especially if your tank is on the opposite side of where your purse is.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:41 AM   #21  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buddy'smamaForums at Splitcoaststampers
Thanks so much for the heads up!

I am a paralegal at a law firm and see this stuff everyday. But I still need a reminder.

Also, if you are going out of town for the holidays, do not post it on social media, like face-book or twitter. Also, make sure that you either have your mail held at the post office until you get back or a family member or trusted friend pick it up for you. Install a timer on different lights in your house so they will come on at different times.
Also if you're one of those who gets the newspaper, remember to put a hold on that too.
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:13 AM   #22  
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Hi, I just found this information and thought I would jump in. About purses, I know a woman who wears a fanny pack at all times which is okay but I need more room. I have another friend who puts the seat belt through the handles of her purse and then around her. That might work for some. I usually put my purse on the floor in the front seat. at work years ago a co-worker was carrying her purse by the handles instead of over her shoulder-why, I don't remember. Anyway, on her way into work in the morning, some grabbed her purse right out of her hands and ran off with it. Another place to watch, some people leave their purse on their seats at buffets while they get their food. I have done that but usually have my eye on it or the people around me are watching it for me. I could go on and on about safety tips but I won't here. Anyway, thanks for all the good tips.
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:50 AM   #23  
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When I go out to a restaurant, I never put my purse on the back of my chair. I don't like to put it on the floor either so I hang it over my knee.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:58 PM   #24  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by greenmaytagForums at Splitcoaststampers
When I go out to a restaurant, I never put my purse on the back of my chair. I don't like to put it on the floor either so I hang it over my knee.
This is what I do. Except last time I went out to eat, table was small for the 5 of us. I could not do this. I double looped strap of purse, put it over back of chair then put my coat over back of chair. By double looping purse strap, purse could not be seen under coat.
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:31 AM   #25  
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I purchase a "purse hook" at a gift shop but it would slide off when I used it so I took glued a piece of rubber to it and now it works like a charm. The rubber was a scrap I had saved from an unmounted sheet of stamps.


btw did ya'll know you can use a purse hook to hang your purse from a bathroom stall door as well...


Amazon.com: Silver Purse Hanger (Silver): Shoes
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Old 02-21-2015, 03:43 PM   #26  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stampin stacyForums at Splitcoaststampers
I purchase a "purse hook" at a gift shop but it would slide off when I used it so I took glued a piece of rubber to it and now it works like a charm. The rubber was a scrap I had saved from an unmounted sheet of stamps.


btw did ya'll know you can use a purse hook to hang your purse from a bathroom stall door as well...


Amazon.com: Silver Purse Hanger (Silver): Shoes

I actually got a couple of them at a dollar store a few years back. I always have one in my bag. That way if I'm out having drinks with friends or out for dinner, my purse is hanging on the table and I will know if anyone ever tries to pick pocket me. I totally forgot about mentioning that when I started this thread.The funny thing is, I'm always looking for them when I'm out. I should find them online and give them out as gifts next year. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:30 PM   #27  
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I have NEVER put my purse in a shopping cart! Don't understand why anyone does.
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