Protecting Your Vehicle
Vehicles in parking lots always present a target for thieves. Here are some steps you can take to diminish the chance that your car will be broken into or stolen.
- Lock your car whenever it is unattended, both on and off campus.
- Do not leave expensive property, such as CD cases, purses, radar detectors, cellular phones, computers and portable stereos in plain view in your car. Lock them in your trunk or take them into your residence. Cover up conspicuous stereo equipment. Remember that thieves target after market stereo equipment, not factory installed equipment.
- If you have expensive stereo equipment in your car, consider investing in a car alarm. If you have a car alarm, turn it on.
- Record the brand, model numbers and serial numbers of all electronic equipment installed in your car. In the event of theft, give this information to the police. If the equipment is recovered it can be returned to you. Also engrave your driver's license number on this equipment.
- If you live off campus, make every attempt to park your car off the street, if possible. If not, park in a well lighted area.
Protecting Yourself in Your Car
- Park in well lighted areas, busy areas. Avoid dark secluded areas.
- Always lock your car, even if you are in it at the time.
- As you approach your car, be aware of other people around. If you see someone loitering near your car, do not go to it; instead, walk to an area where there are other people.
- Have our car keys ready. Make sure you don't have to stand by your car fumbling for your keys.
- Before you enter your car, make sure that no intruder is in the car waiting for you.
- If you see another motorist on the road, do not stop to help. Drive to the nearest phone and notify the police.
- While driving, keep valuables out of sight, and not on the seat next to you.
- Consider getting a cellular phone so you can call for assistance in an emergency.
- If you are stranded in your car, do not accept help from anyone. If someone offers help, stay in your car and ask him for help to call the police. Do not accept help from the police unless they are in uniform and driving a marked patrol car.
- If your car is carjacked, give the carjacker your car. Your life and health are worth more than the car.
Protecting Yourself at Automatic Teller Machines (ATM)
In recent years ATM's and their users have become a target for thieves. Here are some tips you should know to prevent yourself from becoming a victim at an ATM.
- If at all possible, avoid using ATM's at night. If you must use one at night, select one with a lot of people around, that is well lighted, and is not in a secluded, low visibility area.
- Try to have a friend accompany you when using an ATM.
- Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
- Complete your transaction as quickly as possible, and do not flaunt your cash.
Protecting Yourself When You Are Out
- Don't carry a lot of cash. Women should carry money somewhere other than their purses. Men should carry their wallets in an inside coat pocket or in a front pants pocket.
- Don't be flashy. Expensive clothes and jewelry can make you a target for thieves.
- Avoid shortcuts through dark, secluded areas. Stay where other people are around. Avoid areas where thieves may be hiding.
- Do not walk alone. If you jog, do not jog alone.
- Walk with confidence. Thieves are more likely to single out those who appear hesitant or unsure of themselves.
- When walking to your house or car, have your keys ready so you will spend as little time as possible in the open.
- If you are being harassed, loudly say "Leave me alone!" If that doesn't stop the harassment, continue to attract people's attention and head towards a store or another place where other people are around.
- If you are confronted, give up your valuables. Nothing is as important as your life.
- Try to stay out of arm's reach of the attacker. Don't let the attacker move you into an alley or car. Your best defense if the attacker persists is to scream and run.
- Consider purchasing a personal alarm or pepper spray for defensive purposes.
- Look into self defense classes. Classes may be available throughout the community.