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Safety and the holidays

Updated November 20, 2014

Regular readers of the "Cerritos Neighborhood Watch" newsletter are well versed on various tips and strategies for keeping themselves and their property safe. However, the busy holiday season brings additional challenges to our personal safety and security. The oftentimes overwhelming multitude of activities can result in people being hurried and careless, not paying attention to their surroundings or their property and increasing their crime risk. As police departments around the country remind us, at this time of year we can never be "too careful, too prepared or too aware."

With two large regional shopping facilities in our City, there will be thousands of people flocking to Cerritos to shop and dine during the next few weeks. Unfortunately, there may be some people who come here with ill intent. Keeping safe while shopping is fairly simple if a few precautions are followed. We encourage you to review and practice the following holiday safety tips.

  • Shop only during daylight hours if possible.
  • Travel in pairs when shopping at night.
  • When shopping, remember where you parked your car.
  • Always park in a well-lighted and well-traveled area, and not in a remote dark area.
  • Keep car doors locked at all times when driving and while parked in a parking lot.
  • Avoid parking next to vans and campers.
  • Never leave packages visible in a car. Instead, lock them in the trunk.
  • Locate keys and have them ready before arriving at your car.
  • Keep a secure hold on your purse and place it inside of your vehicle before unloading items.
  • Do not approach your car if suspicious persons are nearby.
  • Request an escort from mall security if you have any safety concerns.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Use ATMs in lighted areas.
  • Use ATMs inside a police station or mall if possible.
  • Stay aware of who and what is around you.
  • Don't resist if someone tries to take your belongings, and don't chase the suspect. Call 9-1-1.
  • Carry only the credit cards you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Keep a record at home of credit card numbers and phone numbers to call in the event that they are stolen or lost.
  • Beware of anyone who approaches you in a parking lot with a "good deal."
  • Drive defensively; traffic is heavier during the holidays and distracted drivers abound.
  • When shopping with children, discuss a plan of where to meet should you get separated.
  • Teach your children to ask a store clerk for help if necessary.
  • Never leave children alone in your car while shopping.

The staff at the Cerritos Sheriff's Station/Community Safety Center wishes you a safe, happy and peaceful holiday season. And remember, If You See Something, Say Something by calling the Sheriff's dispatch center at (562) 860-0044..

 

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