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Holiday Safety Tips

The holiday season should be full of joy and happiness. Unfortunately it is also a time of the year when crimes against property traditionally increase and the highways become increasingly dangerous due to careless and/or impaired motor vehicle operators. In order to make your holidays joyous and safe, Penn Police  offer the following suggestions related to crime prevention and safety:

Workplace Safety:

  • Keep personal items such as handbags, wallets etc. in a locked, secure area.
  • Electronic items such as Palm Pilots, laptop computers should be secured when left unattended.
  • Offices should be secured when unattended. If you don’t have a lock on your office door, request that one is installed.
  • Report suspicious behavior to the University Police by dialing 511 from any University telephone or (215) 573-3333 from a non-University phone. We suggest that you incorporate this number into your cell phone speed dialer.

Vehicle Safety:

  • Never leave items in your vehicle that are visible to the public. Mall parking garages and lots are favorite targets of the opportunistic thief. Stow away items such as gifts in the trunk of your vehicle. If you have an SUV, cover these items with an old blanket or sheet.
  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit area and be cognizant of your surroundings. Carry a cell phone with you and be prepared to call the Police in case of an emergency.

Shopping Safety:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Carry only the credit cards that you intend to use and avoid carrying large sums of money.
  • Use ATM machines that are in well-lit safe environments. Avoid using ATM’s that are located in malls. Pickpockets normally work these areas looking for people withdrawing large sums of cash. Locations such as Wawa are usually well-lit safe locations for ATM withdrawals. There is also an ATM in the lobby of the Division of Public Safety at 4040 Chestnut Street, there is a $1 service fee for non-members.
  • Thieves often target food courts. Don’t leave handbags, gifts, etc. unattended. Shopping in pairs will minimize your risk of being a crime victim.
  • Secure your credit card receipts. Someone gaining access to your credit card numbers could be the first step in having your identity stolen.

Highway Safety:

  • he University of Pennsylvania Police Department is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Silver Buckle Award presented through the Governor’s Office as the result of our promotion, education, training and enforcement of proper seat belt usage. Buckle up for safety, it is not just good common sense, it’s the law.

Don’t Drink and Drive:

  • Alcohol is often served at holiday parties.
  • When driving on the highway it is recommended to have a cellular telephone available in case of emergencies.

Please forward this message to your colleagues. From all of us at the University of Pennsylvania Police Department we wish you and your family a safe, healthy and joyous holiday.

—Captain Joseph D. Fischer



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 15, December 14, 2004


December 14, 2004
Volume 51 Number 15


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