Vacation is a

time for fun

and relaxation.

Don't let

yours be

spoiled by

crime. Follow

these safety

and security tips for a worry-free

vacation.

Vacation Security

At Home

Have good locks installed on

all doors and windows, and

use them.

Have the post office hold or

forward your mail, or arrange

for a neighbor to collect it.

Leave a key with a friend or

trusted neighbor. Never hide

a key under the mat, in a

flower pot or in the mailbox.

Have bottled water,

newspaper and other delivery

services stopped. Do not

leave notes -- they are invitations

to burglars.

Arrange for lawn care and

removal of circulars and

debris.

Ask a neighbor to check periodically

to make sure everything

is secure. Leave your

vacation address and

telephone number with them

so you can be reached in an

emergency.

It's a good idea to have the

neighbor change the positions

of drapes and blinds. Do not

keep them closed unless that

is what you do when you are

at home.

Put outside and inside lights

on timers or arrange for a

neighbor to turn them on and

off at the appropriate times of

the day and night to give the

house a lived-in appearance.

It's also a good idea to have

the television and radio on

timers. At the very least, leave

the radio turned on low,

preferably to a talk show, to

simulate conversation.

Use a telephone answering

machine or turn down the

ringer on your phone so that a

burglar isn't alerted to your absence

by excessive ringing.

Never record your message

to say that you are away --

only that you are unavailable

to come to the phone.

Do not keep expensive jewelry

or other valuables at home

if you're not. Put them in a

safe deposit box. Definitely

do not leave valuables where

they can be seen from a window.

If possible, keep a vehicle

parked in the driveway when

you are away (even if it's just

the neighbor's car). It's also a

good idea to keep it clean and

have it moved periodically

from one area to another.

Contact your local police

department (or your private

patrol service, if you are contracted

with one) and ask

them to send a patrol car by

your house periodically.

Contact your security company.

Tell them how long you

will be gone, where you can

be reached and who has the

key to your house. And don't

forget to call them when you

return home.

On The Road

Never carry large amounts of

cash -- use traveler's checks.

If you must carry large sums

of money, do not display it

openly.

Keep a record of traveler's

check numbers and your

credit card numbers in a safe

place. Have the telephone

numbers to call in case your

checks or credit cards are lost

or stolen.

Be aware of your surroundings

and never advertise your

plans to strangers. This includes

travel routes and the

amount of cash you are carrying.

Do not stop to offer help to a

stranded motorist. Go to the

nearest phone booth and call

for assistance.

If you suspect someone is following

you, drive to the

nearest service station, restaurant

or business and call

the police or sheriff's department.

If you believe it is unsafe

to get out of your car,

honk your horn and flash your

lights to draw attention.

If your car breaks down, raise

the hood and attach a white

cloth to the car antenna. If

someone stops to help, it is

advisable that you stay in your

locked car (with the window

up) and ask them to call the

police or a garage. If you

must abandon your car, keep

all passengers together.

Car Security

Always lock your car when

entering or leaving it.

Park in well lit, busy areas.

Check the back seat before

getting into your car.

Engrave or mark your car

radio and other removable car

equipment with your driver's

license number for identification.

Always lock valuables out of

sight, preferably in the trunk.

Always carry wallets, checkbooks

and purses with you.

Do not advertise that you are

a tourist. Place maps and

travel brochures in the glove

compartment.

Sightseeing

Remember that planning reduces

your chances of becoming the victim

of a crime.

Ask for directions at a

hotel/motel on how to get to

those attractions you want to

visit.

Select tour guides carefully.

Ask if there are any areas in

town you should avoid. Stick

to well-lighted main streets

and public areas.

Looking lost (stopping and

looking at addresses or staring

at street signs) may make

you look like an easy target for

crime. If you do get lost, find

an open business and ask for

directions.

Only carry with you the cash

you will need, and only in

small denominations.

If older children go off

separately, be sure they understand

the importance of keeping

track of time and returning

promptly at appointed hours.

Hotel &

Motel Security

When staying

overnight at a

hotel or motel,

remember the following:

Determine the most direct

route to and from your room,

to the fire escapes, elevators

and nearest phone.

When occupying or leaving

your room, use all auxiliary

locking devices on doors and

windows. You may want to

purchase a portable door lock

for traveling.

Use the door viewer to identify

anyone requesting entry.

Open the door only if you are

certain the person has a

legitimate reason to enter your

room. If in doubt, call the

hotel/motel office.

Unpack and place belongings

in the closet and dresser. Arrange

your things so you'll

know if anything is missing.

Consider locking any electrical

appliances (i.e., blow

dryer, electric shaver) in your

luggage. Suitcases should always

be locked so they cannot

be used to carry your

property out of your room.

Never leave money, checks,

credit cards or car keys in the

room. Take them with you.

Place extra cash, expensive

jewelry or other valuables (i.e.,

furs, gems, gold) in the hotel/

motel safe.

Report any lost or

stolen items to the

hotel/motel management

and to the

police.

Report to the management

any suspicious movements in

the corridors or rooms.

Returning Home

If you suspect burglary:

Do not go in. Go to a

neighbor's house and call the

police immediately. Wait outside

for them to arrive. Do not

try to confront a burglar.

After a burglary, do not touch

anything. Call the police immediately

-- a delay can

reduce the chances of catching

the criminal.

For More Information

For further information contact

your local crime prevention officer,

or write to:

Office of Criminal Justice Planning

1130 K Street

Sacramento, CA 95814

(916)324-9100