17 December, 2010

Chief Lanier Shares Safety Tips

We have been sharing safety tips with you throughout this holiday season in our Daily Crime Reports.  I would like to take a moment to share additional information with you, due to an increase in reports of stolen Smartphones and Bicycles during this season.  Please take a moment to review the following safety tips to help protect your property against theft.  Never purchase these items from suspicious individuals, looking to make a quick sell on the streets or online, without checking for original paperwork and/or receipts.
Bike Safety Tips:
The two most common ways to protect your bike involve: 1) proper lock & storage and 2) proper documentation (including photographs).
1) Always register your bike with the National Bike Registry: (http://mpdc.dc.gov/bikereg), Record your bicycle’s serial number and photograph and store the information in a safe place. You can share this with police listserv groups and local pawn shops in the event of theft.
2) Whenever possible, store your bike indoors.  Unsecured yards and outdoor garages are not recommended.  Heavy duty, U-shaped locks are recommended, as well as a second lock for added safety. 
3) If you must store your bike outdoors, attach it to an object that is secured by cement or heavy bolts and make sure the space between your bike and the affixed object is very tight.
4) Consider purchasing a bike alarm as a second-level of security.
Cell Phone Safety Tips:
Thieves have been targeting expensive Smartphones (like iPhones and Droids) for a quick sell. These items are most often taken in a snatch-and-grab robbery, while unsuspecting victims are walking (most times, distracted) or riding a bus or train.  When we recommend that you stay alert and aware of your surroundings, this means, keeping your head up, checking for suspicious people or suspicious behavior.

1)         Don’t stand next to Metro Transit doors with items in hand, making it easy for someone to grab them and flee the train or bus. 
2)         Avoid walking and talking on the phone at the same time.  It serves as a major distraction and makes you vulnerable to robbery.
3)         If you are leaving a store and think you have been observed making an electronic purchase, focus on securing your item (maybe underneath a coat or jacket) and getting to your destination as quickly as possible.
4)         Marking the back of your phone (or inside battery cover) with your name and alternate phone number in ultraviolet ink can help MPD locate you in the event your phone is recovered.

The links (provided below) have been recommended in past Crime Reports to assist you with securing your personal data if your phone is lost or stolen phone.

Cathy L. Lanier
Chief of Police

iPhone/iPad Users- Protect Your Privacy with Remote Wipe
Source: Apple.com

Droid Users- PC World Examines two Droid Apps to Protect Your Phone
(Mobile Defense & WaveSecure)
1) [Mobile Defense App]

2) [WaveSecure App]
Source: PC World

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