Don’t rely on your four-legged friend to alert you to possible crimes. Take precautionary measures. Photo: feverblue

The holiday season is, unfortunately, when many communities experience an increase in crime. The Berkeley Police Department is offering a few holiday safety tips to ensure everyone has a safe and happy holiday.


  • Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.
  • Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car.
  • Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
  • Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
  • Park as close as you can to your destination.
  • Park in well-lit areas.


  • Try to shop during daylight hours when possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages.
  • Walk with a sense of purpose – show you are calm, confident and know where you are going.
  • Don’t store packages in your vehicle while you continue to shop, thieves watch for this kind of activity.

At home

  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave, even if it is just for a few minutes.
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows/doors of your home.
  • If you leave for an extended period of time, have a friend or family member watch your house and pick up newspaper and mail.
  • Consider having packages delivered to a trusted neighbor if you are not home to receive them. Packages left on door steps can be easily stolen.
  • Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.

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Berkeleyside staff

Berkeleyside is Berkeley, California’s independently-owned local news site. Learn more about the Berkeleyside team. Questions?...