MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The holiday season is upon us. As you prepare to celebrate, the Meridian Township Police Department provides safety tips for making holiday shopping trouble free:
• Avoid driving alone or at night.
• Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.
• If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area.
• Avoid parking next to vans or cars with tinted windows.
• Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.
• Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
• Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
• Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
• Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
• When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
• Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
• If you feel uncomfortable, ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.
Automated Teller Machine (ATM)-
• If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside the mall or well-lighted location. Withdraw only
the amount of cash you need.
• Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
• Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.
• Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
• Dress casually and comfortably.
• Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
• Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
• Always carry your Michigan driver license or identification card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
• Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. If you do carry cash, keep it in your front pocket.
• Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
• Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
• Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
• Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops and on buses.
• Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
• Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.