Capt. Sandra Tong: Police Beat

Have a safe holiday season
On behalf of the members of the Richmond Station, I would like to wish all of you a happy, safe and joyous holiday season.

As the holidays approach and the shopping season begins, please remember to keep in mind the following helpful safe shopping tips:

* Bring only the cash and credit cards you will need while shopping. Place your cash and credit cards in a pocket, not in your purse or handbag;
* After dark, shop with a friend if possible;
* Always try to park your car in a well-lit area;
* Keep the doors and windows of your car locked while driving or when it is parked;
* Avoid overloading yourself with packages;
* It is important to have a clear visibility and freedom of motion to help discourage purse snatchers;
* Keep packages locked in the car's trunk. Avoid leaving valuables in the car in plain view;
* Be alert! Your purse or wallet may be a target of crime in crowded shopping areas, bus stops and on buses;
* Have your keys in hand when approaching your car or home;
* Be aware of your surroundings and anyone approaching your vehicle;
* Blow your car horn if someone approaches;
* If someone demands your purse or wallet, surrender it immediately - it's not worth injury. If your purse or wallet is stolen, call 911 if it's a crime that just occurred, or call 553-0123 or contact the closest police station to file a report;
* Keep a record of your credit card numbers so you can report any loss by number. Report any theft or loss immediately to both the issuing company and the police.

The holiday season also demands that everyone makes an effort to drive responsibly.

First of all, please remember that there will be increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic on the roads as people shop and travel to holiday events. You can make the roads a safer place by slowing down (obeying the speed limit), obeying traffic signals and allowing sufficient time to travel to your desired destination.

Finally, do not drink and drive! If you attend a holiday party, choose a designated driver or, if that's not possible, take a taxi or use public transportation. Please don't take any unnecessary chances by thinking you can drive safely if you've had more than one drink with a meal.

The Police/Community Forum holiday party will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 6 p.m., in the community room at the Richmond Station, 461 Sixth Ave. Bring a dish to share and enjoy the holiday celebration with us.

Capt. Sandra Tong is the commanding officer at the Richmond Police Station.