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Holiday crime: Police offer holiday safety tips to avoid being a victim

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According to the Honolulu Police Department, in a Dec. 16, release on the police website, HPD advises local residents and visitors to take precautions to help ensure a safe holiday season.

Honolulu, is by no stretch of the imagination considered a dangerous city. But, the opportunist criminal can strike without notice, if the circumstances are optimal. The police safety tips issued apply to any major city or small town in the U.S.

As a worldwide tourist Mecca, Hawaii, hosted nearly 8 million visitors in 2012, according to Hawaii Tourism Authority. The safety of the state's global visitors and locals is a priority to the local law enforcement.

To avoid becoming a victim, locals and visitors should be acutely aware, versus being distracted by festivities happening around them. They should also be aware while engaging in routine holiday activities, such as shopping, holiday travel, and home safety during the holiday season. Here is a list of safety tips.

Holiday Shopping Tips:
• Shop during the daylight hours if you can. If you have to shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
• If you're driving, park close to where you're going and park in a well-lit area.
• Lock your vehicle when you're out shopping, keep your windows rolled up, do not leave the keys in the ignition, and do not leave valuables in view.
• Hold your items firmly and do not leave them unattended. Also, don't overload yourself with too many packages.
• Don't wait until you reach your vehicle to look for your keys. Have them ready in your hand.
• The best plan is to have a plan before hand. Make sure you know what you're purchasing in advance and carry only the amount of cash or credit cards you need.

Home Safety Tips While Away For The Holidays:
• Make sure to keep an inventory of serial numbers on items such as televisions, stereos, computers, etc. Should your items get stolen from your home, they may be identified later if found.
• Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
• Make sure all stoves and ovens are off prior to leaving.
• Be sure to lock all doors and windows prior to leaving your residence and be sure to activate the alarm system if your residence has one.
• Find a trusted neighbor, friend or family member to watch your residence in your absence.

At Home:
• Holiday gifts shouldn't be near a window or door in your home, burglars might see it as an opportunity to break in.
• Beware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
• Beware that criminals sometimes go door to door soliciting donations for charities.
• Always turn off Christmas lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.
• Always keep doors locked at all times.

Call police to report suspicious activity.

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