Vacations are a time of family enjoyment, new experiences and relaxation. Vacations are also a time of stress and worry for families that fall victim to criminals that prey on vacationers.
The Dothan Police Department has some tips that may help reduce the possibility of becoming a crime victim during this vacation season.
Before Leaving Home
- Inform your neighbors how long you will be gone and let them know if there will be a house sitter.
- Have your neighbor or friend pickup the mail, newspapers and deliveries.
- Leave the house with a lived-in look. Mow the lawn before leaving and keep it mowed while away. Use timers to change lightning inside the house.
- Set the security system if installed.
On The Road
- Use traveler's checks or credit cards. If you must carry a large sum of money, don't display it openly.
- Keep a record of the traveler's checks and credit card numbers in a safe place.
- Have the telephone number to call in case the checks or credit cards are lost or stolen.
- Take only the credit cards you plan to use.
- Make sure your driver's license is current, insurance cards are current and a copy of the vehicle registration is available.
- Know your route, where you are staying and plan rest stops. Carry a map even if using GPS. Be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep the cell phone charged and handy.
- Know the rules of the road.
- If you rent a car, pick one that you are familiar with the operation. If you can't get one you are familiar with, take time to check the operation of lights, brakes, turn signals, windshield wipers and emergency items like the spare tire.
- Always lock your car. Don't leave any valuables visible even when leaving the vehicle for a few minutes.
- Park in lighted areas, check in and around the vehicle before entering.
- Don't advertise that you are a tourist. Keep maps and travel brochures out of sight.
- If you become lost, drive to a public place to check the map. Don't stop along the street or highway.
- Remember the name and address of the place you are staying.
- Ask for directions at the hotel to the attractions you want to see.
- Ask if there are any areas that need to be avoided.
- Choose your guides carefully. Use recommended guides.
- Only carry the cash you will need.
Hotel and Motel Security
- Determine the most direct route from the car to your room and back.
- Use all locking devices in the room.
- Identify anyone wanting to enter the room. Open the door only when you are certain the person has a legitimate reason to be there.
- Unpack and place belongings in the closet and dresser. Arrange items to easily detect if anything has been taken.
- Do not leave anything of value in the room.
- Report stolen items to the police.