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Holiday Safety Tips

The holiday season is a special and exciting time of the year; it is also a time when people could become more vulnerable to theft and other types of crimes.  The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) is offering you these tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe during the holiday season:



  • Shop during daylight hours and with a friend
  • If you must shop after dark, park in a well lit location
  • Avoid parking next to vans, trucks or cars with dark tinted windows
  • Do not leave any valuables or packages in the vehicle where they can be seen
  • Lock your car doors
  • Keep control of your wallets and purses, do not leave them unattended
  • To discourage purse-snatches, don’t overburden yourself with packages
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
  • Be sure to locate your keys before getting to your car
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially while walking to your car
  • Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area
  • If you feel uncomfortable, request mall security for an escort or wait until suspicious people relocate
  • If you must use an ATM, chose one that is located inside of a mall or in a well lit location – know who and what is going on around you while using the machine

Online Shopping

  • Purchase from only reputable websites – be wary of meeting strangers from online websites
  • Use only one credit card that has a low credit limit
  • Keep all receipts from online purchases
  • Check the credit statements after the holidays and even run a credit check to make sure you weren’t the victim of fraud


  • If you can, leave small children with a trusted babysitter
  • Teach children to stay close to you at all times and never allow them to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom
  • Never leave your child alone in a vehicle
  • Teach your child to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them

At Home

  • Put lights on an automatic timer
  • If traveling have a trusted neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up newspapers and mail; or have the service temporarily suspended
  • Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through windows and or doors
  • Ensure that tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children do not tip over the tree
  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked at all times
  • Leave the garage door closed, even when you are home
  • Do not answer the door if you are not expecting anyone
  • Call 911 if you see suspicious behavior

If you will be traveling for the holiday

  • If you will be driving make sure your vehicle is in good working order and that the tires have the right amount of air
  • Travel with water and snacks in the vehicle just in case of inclement weather
  • Have trusted neighbors retrieve mail and newspapers or have the service temporarily suspended
  • If it snows, ask a neighbor and or family to shovel driveway or park in the driveway so it looks as if someone is home
  • Close blinds and make sure all windows are locked
  • Put lights on timers
  • Leave a radio or television on so it sounds as if someone is home

Strangers at Your Door

  • Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts
  • Criminals will take advantage of holiday generosity by soliciting door to door for charitable causes although there is no charity involved
  • You DO NOT have to answer the door
  • If you are suspicious of the person at your door, call police

The IMPD says you can never be too aware or too careful. Keeping that in mind, IMPD’s service districts have plans in place to provide extra patrols in and around shopping locations throughout the city.  Always remember public safety resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Never hesitate to call 911 or the non-emergency number at 327-3811.

Happy Thanksgiving and Seasons Greetings to you and yours from the IMPD and its 1,600 plus employees.