Greetings from the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention
Unit. The Holiday Season is always a special and busy time of the
year. During this hustle and bustle season is when most people
become most vulnerable as potential victims of crime. People are too
busy and in a hurry to be aware of their surroundings and make
careless mistakes in the area of safety. Please take a few moments
and look at the following holiday and everyday safety tips. Please
share this information with family, friends and neighbors. The
Walworth County Sheriff’s Office wishes you a safe, happy, and
peaceful holiday season and Great New Year.
Avoid driving alone or at night.
Keep all car doors locked and
windows closed while in or out of your car.
If you must shop at night, park in
a well-lighted area. When stopped in traffic, be sure to leave
enough space in between you and the vehicle ahead of you so you
can accelerate around it to escape.
If you must stop at night, park in
a well lighted area. Avoid parking near larger vehicles such as
trucks, vans, Sport Utility vehicles, or vehicles with tinted
Do not leave packages on the seat
of your car; this creates a temptation for thieves.
When approaching vehicles, have
your keys out.
When approaching and leaving your
vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
Do not approach vehicle if
suspicious people are in the area.
Ask mall or store security for an
escort before leaving your shopping location.
Automated Teller Machine (ATM’s)
If you must use an ATM, locate one
that is inside a police station, mall, or well-lighted location.
Never approach an ATM if
suspicious persons are nearby.
Never approach an ATM if you have
any doubts or fear about your safety. Withdraw only the amount
of cash you need.
Protect your PIN by shielding the
ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
Do not throw your ATM receipt away
at the ATM location.
Memorize your personal code. Do
not write it on the card or carry it along with your card.
Never give your PIN (personal
identification code) to anyone.
Never count your money at the ATM
or leave your wallet and/or cash exposed. If you are followed
from an ATM, go to an area where there are other people, plenty
of activity and light. If you are driving, go to the nearest
Do not leave your keys in the
ignition or vehicle running when using a walk up ATM.
Always keep your doors locked when
using a drive up ATM.
Dress casually and comfortably.
Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
Always carry identification along
with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you
expect to use.
Even though you are rushed and
thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your
Avoid carrying large amounts of
Pay for purchases with a check or
credit card when possible.
Keep cash in your front pocket.
Notify the credit card issuer
immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
Keep a record of all of your
credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
Be extra careful if you do carry a
wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in
crowded shopping areas.
Avoid overloading yourself with
packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom
of motion to avoid mishaps.
If possible, leave small children
at home with a trusted babysitter.
Teach your child to go to a store
clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
Teach children to stay close to
you at all times while shopping.
Never allow children to make
unaccompanied trips to the restroom.
Children should never be allowed
to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in
Teach children their full name,
address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall
Teach children to immediately
inform you if a stranger is bothering them.
Be extra cautious about locking
doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few
When leaving home for an extended
time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick
up your newspapers and mail.
Indoor and outdoor lights should
be on an automatic timer.
Leave a radio or television on so
the house looks and sounds occupied.
Large displays of holiday gifts
should not be visible through the windows and doors of your
When setting up a Christmas tree
or other holiday displays, make sure doors and passageways are
clear inside your home.
Be sure your Christmas tree is
mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family
pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
If you use lights on your
Christmas tree, ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed.
Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
Place your Christmas tree in water
or wet sand to keep it green.
Never place wrapping paper in your
The goal of Operation
Identification is to deter property-related crime and to assist
the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department in their efforts to
find and return stolen or lost property to its rightful owner.
Mark gifts with your Driver
License or Identification Card number.
Do not use your Social Security
Keep a record of serial numbers.
Keep an inventory form, photos
and/or video of all your valuables to aid in return or
Strangers at Your Door
Do not open your DOOR. Be aware
that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
It is not uncommon for criminals
to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday
season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable
causes although no charity is involved.
Ask for their identification, and
find out how the donated funds will be used. Ask for a number to
call to verify identification/organization. If you are not
satisfied, do not donate.
Hosting a Party
Have non-alcoholic beverages
available for party guests.
Find alternative transportation
for intoxicated guests.
Arrange for an official designated
driver for your party who will not drink at all.
Attending a Party
Have something to eat before
consuming alcoholic beverages.
Eat high protein foods that will
stay in your stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol
into your system.
Remember, only time will eliminate
the alcohol from your body.
Know your safe limit.
Never drink and drive.