Anyone at anytime can become a victim of crime. However, with a few simple precautions, your chances of being a victim can be reduced. On this page, we will offer some simple and practical tips on how to reduce your risk of becoming a victim. Additionally, we also offer a Business Watch program and a Vacation Check program. If you would like more information, or would like to set up a neighborhood watch on your street, contact 1st Sgt. Steve Merchant or call (209)599-2102
AROUND THE HOME:
- Lock all doors and windows when your away, even for a short while. Most burglaries occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Also be sure to use deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
- Leave your curtains slightly parted. Drapes or shades that are fully closed give a deserted look to a home or apt.
- Put your lights, TV and/or stereo on timers. Stagger the times they will go on and off so it looks as if someone is home.
- If expense allows it, install a home security system. More than 90% of convicted burglars interviewed in a study said they would avoid breaking into homes with an alarm.
- Use an engraver to mark your valuables with an easily identifiable number and keep an inventory of your belongings and serial numbers in a secure place such as a safe deposit box. The Ripon Police Department has an engraver that can be checked out at no cost.
- Don’t hide a key in the mailbox , under the doormat or above the doorway. If there is a chance a former owner or tenant might still have the key to your home, change the locks.
- Stop mail and newspaper delivery to your home while your away. Also ask a friend or neighbor to pick up any packages or flyers left outside.
- Trims trees and shrubs so burglars have fewer places to hide.
- Install peepholes in exterior doors and bars on basement windows. If you have children install peep holes that they can reach.
Always report any suspicious or criminal activity immediately to your local law enforcement agency. Never feel silly for making a report. Many arrests are made because a citizen reported something they felt was out of the ordinary.
AUTO THEFT AND CARJACKING:
- Never leave your car running (even if your just running back inside to retrieve something) and always take your keys with you. Also lock the doors and close all windows. Four out of every five cars stolen were left unlocked by the owner.
- Try to park only in populated and well-lit areas.
- File your vehicle’s title at your home or office. Carry your registration in your wallet.
- Consider equipping your vehicle with a cell phone and some type of antitheft deterrent.
- Keep purses, briefcases and packages out of sight inside your vehicle.
- Before entering your vehicle, always check around and inside it for intruders.
- Always be alert to what’s happening around you. Don’t apply makeup, or read at stoplights.
- Never stay in your parked car eating, reading, or sleeping.
- Drive with all doors locked.
- When pulling up behind another car at a stoplight, leave enough space for an emergency escape.
- Make a mental note of the location of police and fire stations.
- If approached by strangers, drive off if possible, never roll down your windows. Lean on your horn to attract attention.
Finally if you are the victim of a carjacking, leave all valuables behind and get away. Most carjackers are armed. Objects can be replaced, but you can’t. For more information regarding the Neighborhood Watch Program, contact your area Sergeant.