Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday Safety Alerts, by Redmond Police Officer Dowd

Dear Redmond Community and Friends,
Happy Holidays to all!  I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday season.  I apologize for the length of this update but we had a lot on information to cover due to the holidays.
As you may imagine this is a busy season for all of us.  With the shopping and gift sending comes opportunities for our BAH-HUMBUG group of local criminals to get their “discount” shopping done.  I have listed a few of our holiday tips below.  The best advice is to be aware that these groups are out there.   Protect your gifts and property and make yourself a difficult target!
HOLIDAY TIPS
When leaving your car or home:
  • Lock your doors!  It doesn’t matter where you are going or how long you will be there. 
  • Secure valuables before you park—thieves may be watching you as you exit your vehicle.  If you purchase items or have valuables in your car, then put them in the trunk. 
  • Avoid parking next to trucks, SUVs, or anything that may serve as a shield for thieves.  Read More >>
 
When shopping:
  • Shop during daylight hours and park in well-lit areas.
  • Avoid carrying a purse or wallet.  If you do, zip/button purses, carry wallets in a front pocket, and never carry a social security card or other personal information. 
  • Don’t walk away from shopping carts, shopping bags or purses while in the store
  • Be certain everything you carry, including shopping bags, is in clear view and protected. 
 
When paying for items
  • Keep credit cards safe.  When paying, keep the card face down or covered and if using an ATM card then shield yourself when entering the PIN.  Shred all receipts or bills.   Don’t set purse or wallet down.  Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • If a receipt bares your entire credit card number, mark out some of the numbers. 
 
When traveling:
  • Keep lights and/or television on in your house.
  • Inform trusted neighbors that you will be out of town. 
  • Don’t leave mail in your mailbox for an extended period. 
  • Make arrangements for packages to be picked up.  (We will receive daily reports of packages stolen from porches during the holiday season!).
  • If flying, do not include your address on luggage tags.  This information informs people where you live and that you won’t be there. 
 
As always, report all suspicious activity!!!! 
 
HEALTH/WELL BEING
 
CITIZENS ACADEMY
Course dates March 19-May 216-9pm at the Redmond Police Department
The Redmond Police Citizen Academy is a free ten week course where participants will hear from 20-25 speakers from all aspects of the Redmond Police Department.  Please contact Michael Dowd mdowd@redmond.gov  if you are interested in attending this course.  This is a very popular course that will fill up quickly.
 
WOMEN’S PERSONAL SAFETY CLASS
Our next women’s personal safety will be held January 29.  This is a free class where female police officers speak to participants about safety and awareness.  This is by far our most popular class.  Please contact Michael Dowd mdowd@redmond.gov if you are interested in attending this class.  There will be classes offered in the spring and the fall as well.
 
SCAMS:
Puget Sound area residents and business owners have recently been targeted by scammers impersonating public utility companies. The scammer calls residents or business owners claiming that the victim has an overdue balance on their utility bill. They convince the victims that someone from the company is on their way to the residence or business to disconnect electricity. The victim is then instructed to purchase prepaid debit cards and provide the card number and access codes to the scammer by phone.
Businesses that have been targeted are small, neighborhood businesses and many are ethnic or minority-owned restaurants.
The scam attempts are elaborate; victims in the utility scams have even been given a phone number to reach a “customer service representative” for their local utility to confirm their account status. The phone number given directs the victim back to an accomplice in the scam.
Red Flags
  1. type of payment (prepaid debit cards or other unusual forms of payment)
  2. solicit over phone for payment
 
Associated links
 
Also, there have been recent incidents reported where citizens were contacted by suspects  claiming to be from Microsoft or another technical service.  The suspects notified the victims that they had a virus on their computer.  The victims gave the suspects  remote access to their computer, and the suspect began accessing files.
 
The red flag again is an unsolicited call from any type of service!!
 
DRIVING TIPS:
 
  1. Leave yourself plenty of time.
  2. Have alternate routes available.
  3. Have proper tires/chains on your vehicle.
  4. Keep emergency equipment in your vehicle (food, blankets etc.)
  5. Your 4 wheel drive/AWD vehicle is not a guarantee of successful travel.
 
DUI emphasis:  Eastside agencies, as well as many agencies throughout the state, will be having weekend/holiday DUI emphasis patrols throughout the holiday season.  Please plan accordingly for safe driving to and from your holiday parties.
 
Move Right for lights and sirens.  A reminder from our Police and Fire employees.  Please move safely to the right when you see lights or hear sirens.
 
GIFT IDEAS
 
Redmond Police is selling ski/snowboard helmets for $20 and bike helmets $5.  Contact Nicole Rogers for a fitting Nicole Rogers NDROGERS@redmond.gov
 
 
NEW REDMOND POLICE DEPARTMENT COMMUNICATION TOOL:
Don’t forget to check out Redmond.ideascale.com and join the conversation on Police & Fire public safety issues. Contribute an idea, vote on an idea, leave a comment! Help your police & fire departments tailor our services to your needs.
  
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REDMOND POLICE CALENDAR
 
December
7           Redmond Lights                                                                                               Redmond Town Center
cid:image003.jpg@01CEF0E6.E8F7A090  Next Redmond Ready Day is scheduled for December 14th from 9am-5pm here at the Redmond Police Department.  Register online at www.redmondready.org
18        Eastside Security Forum                                                                                Contact: Lt. Charlie Gorman, cgorman@redmond.gov; 425-556-2566
 
January
 
27      Next Redmond CERT training is scheduled for January 27~ Monday nights (8 consecutive weeks) with a final drill Saturday, March 22nd 2014.  Register    online at www.redmondccc.org.   See attached flyer for more information.
 
29     Neighborhood Watch Quarterly Meeting                                                Redmond Police Training Room
30     Women’s personal safety class                                                                    Contact:  Michael Dowd mdowd@redmond.gov
 
 
If you have comments or wish to be added to our mailing list please contact me at mdowd@redmond.gov
I do apologize if you sent me a request to be removed and were not removed.  The list of names to be removed was lost in my archaic filing systems.
 
 
Michael Dowd
Crime Prevention Officer

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