Police offer holiday safety tips

The Biloxi Police Department reminds you to keep these safety tips in mind this holiday season.  

At home

–Lock doors and windows when you leave home, even if you plan on being gone for a short time.

–Have a neighbor or family member watch your home and collect your newspapers and mail if you’re going to be away overnight.

–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 home.

–Do not place boxes or shipping containers from recent purchases by the roadway for trash collection.

–Place evidence of new purchases in trash cans or plastic bags thus making it difficult for would-be thieves to shop from your neighborhood street. 

–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 live Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.

–Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.

In you vehicle

–Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.

–If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area.

–Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.

–Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.

–Never leave your vehicle unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.

–Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your vehicle. This creates temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the vehicle, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.

–Be sure to locate your keys before going to your vehicle. Do not activate remote access until you are close enough to enter.

–Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag, and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the vehicle to open the door.

–When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.

–Do not approach your vehicle alone if there are suspicious people in the area.

–If necessary, ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.

At the ATM

–If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a well-lighted occupied area like a mall, convenience store, or police station. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.

–Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.

–When using a drive-through ATM leave your vehicle in drive with your foot on the brake while completing your transaction.

–Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.

While shopping

–Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

–Dress casually and comfortably.

–Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

–Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.

–Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.

–Pay for purchases with a check or credit card and avoid carrying large amounts of cash when possible.

–Keep cash in your front pocket.

–Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen, or misused.

–Membership in a credit card monitoring service is strongly recommended especially during the holiday season.

–Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion.

–Do not make multiple trips to load your vehicle with multiple packages. This could draw the attention of criminals.

–During the holiday season “con artists” are working overtime and may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason.

The following recommendations may deter property-related crime and assist the Biloxi Police Department in its efforts to find and return stolen or lost property to its rightful owner.
YouTube: See more holiday safety tips

News & notes: Weekly reports, drinking water, youth council, city council

The week that was: Weekly reports from the departments of Police, Fire, Community Development, Public Works, and Engineering are now online for your review. To see the report from last week and an archive of weekly reports, click here.

Drinking water: The Mississippi State Department of Health, in its latest inspection report, stated that the city’s “water system appeared to be well maintained and operating properly.” To see more about the city’s drinking water, click here.

Mayor’s Youth Council: The City of Biloxi Mayor’s Youth Council held its first meeting on Tuesday at Biloxi City Hall. The Youth Council was created to ensure the youth of Biloxi are engaged, educated, and connected to city government, city operations, and community issues. For details on the Mayor’s Youth Council, click here.

Council: The Biloxi City Council will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 1:30 p.m. at Biloxi City Hall. To see the recent Dec. 5 meeting recording and an archive of council meeting recordings, click here.