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CRIME PREVENTION
Deterring Vehicle Theft
Never leave your keys in the ignition or leave the car running, even for a moment. Estimates indicate
that 80% of all stolen vehicles were left unlocked, and 40% had keys in the ignition. Some auto thieves
hang around convenience stores and gas stations.  

Park your car in a well-lit, busy area. This is for your personal safety as well as for the safety of your car.

Do not leave ANYTHING visible in the passenger compartment of your car when parking. Lock all items
in the trunk prior to arriving at your destination.  Car alarms are excellent for deterring thieves.

Reducing the Risk of Violent Crime

Sexual Assault:
•  Use initials instead of first names on mail boxes and phone listings.  
•  Avoid remaining alone in an apartment laundry room or parking garage.  
•  Never admit on the telephone or at the door that you are alone.  
•  It is risky to accept a ride home from someone you have just met.  
•  If you decide to physically resist assault, remember that your goal is to incapacitate the attacker
long enough to run to safety and get help.  
•  If you have been a victim of sexual assault, call police immediately. Do not bathe or change clothes
or you may destroy valuable evidence.

Robbery:
Avoid carrying valuable items or large amounts of money. Always think ahead. For example, when
traveling at night, have your keys ready to enter the house or  to start the car. If a robber confronts you,
the best advice is to cooperate.  If you resist, there is a greater chance that you may be hurt.  

Bank Machines:
When using an automatic bank teller, always be watchful of any suspicious people around you. The
chances of being robbed at night are much greater, especially if you are alone. If you find someone
waiting and watching outside in the area of an ATM machine, do not use it. Leave the area and report
the incident to the Police immediately. You could save someone else from being a victim of crime.
Tips on Crime Prevention by IMPD
If possible, use ATM machines located in well-populated grocery stores or gas filling stations to reduce your risk of
becoming a victim.  

What To Do If Your Purse or Wallet is Lost or Stolen

To help account for the contents of your wallet, it is a good practice to photocopy them on a periodic basis.
Copy both sides of each license, credit card, library card, video rental card, etc.  If your wallet or purse is stolen,
the account numbers and phone numbers will be available to facilitate the calls you make to report your cards stolen.
Keep the photocopy in a safe place.  

If your wallet or purse is lost or stolen, cancel your credit cards immediately, but, remember, the key is having the toll
free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them easily.
File a police report in the jurisdiction where it was stolen. This will provide credit companies proof you were diligent,
and is a first step toward an investigation.  

Call the three national credit-reporting organizations and the Social Security Administration immediately to place a
fraud alert on your name and social security number.   The numbers are:  
•  Equifax:      1-800-525-6285            
•  Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742  
•  Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289  
•  Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

Security on the Street On Foot:

•  Stay in well-lighted, busy areas. Avoid walking alone and avoid known trouble spots.  
•  When you carry a purse, hold it close to your body rather than by the handles. Do not wrap purse straps around
 your wrist, because you can get hurt in a struggle.  
•  Carry only what you need in a purse or wallet, not everything you have.  
•  Avoid using shortcuts through dark alleys, fields, or vacant lots.  
•  If you think you're being followed, cross the street and change directions a few times. Go quickly to a well-lighted
 place with lots of people. Do not go home. You don't want an attacker to know where you live.

On Wheels:

•  Keep your car in good running condition  
•  Always roll up the windows and lock car doors  
•  Avoid parking in isolated areas.  Be especially alert in lots and underground parking garages  
•  Don't pick up hitchhikers  
•  If you think someone is following you, don't head home.  Drive to the nearest police or fire station, gas station, or
 other open business to get help  

Personal Safety Tips

Walk Assertively:
Street criminals often choose their victims at random, preying on people who appear easily intimidated and
vulnerable. Assertive body language can help prevent assault. Look as though you may cause an uproar if bothered.  

Walk with a Companion:
The old "safety in numbers" cliché is as accurate as ever. When you walk at night with a companion, continue to be
AWARE AND ALERT.  

Stick to Well-Lighted Walkways:
Avoid sidewalks where shrubs, alleys and dark doorways can hide attackers.

Protect Yourself in a Crowd:
In a crowd, wear your purse over your shoulder with the opening toward your body. If someone grabs it, let go. Put
wallets in a front pocket or your jacket. If you feel that you are being followed, cross the street and change directions
a few times. Walk or run quickly to a well-lighted shop or where crowds of people can help if needed. DO NOT GO
HOME. You don't want to let an attacker know where you live.  

Using an Elevator:
When using an elevator, be with friends or family. Stand close to the door and near the controls with your back against
a wall. If a situation arises press the alarm button and press as many floor buttons as possible, this will afford more
opportunities for escape.

Shopping:

•  Shop before dark if possible, and with a friend. Park only in well-lighted parking lots.   
•  Lock your packages and gifts in your vehicle's trunk. Keep your vehicle's doors locked and windows closed.   
•  Avoid carrying large sums of money. Pay for purchases with a check, credit card, or debit card when possible.   
•  To discourage purse-snatches, don't overburden yourself with packages. Have your purchases delivered whenever
 practical.   
•  Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry only what you need, and put it in a pocket.   
•  Teach children to go to a store clerk or police officer and ask for help if you become separated. They should never
 go into the parking lot alone. Identity a place inside the mall to meet if you become separated.   
•  Do not leave children alone in vehicles.  
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