The holiday season is a wonderful and magical time of year. With the colorful holiday lights, joyful music, sounds of laughter and feelings of good will, it is easy to forget that we may become a victim of a crime.
Falling victim to crime can happen to anyone at anytime, UCSF police say. While there are no guarantees that you won’t be a victim, there are things you can do to avoid being an easy target. The following suggestions are offered to assist you and your family:
Prevent Auto Burglary
- Always lock your vehicle and store all items out of sight in your trunk or locked glove box.
- Never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running.
- Park in well lit locations and as close as possible to building/mall entrances.
Prevent Home Burglary
- Gifts and valuables should be kept out of sight and away from windows.
- If you are traveling, ask a neighbor to watch your house. If you have an alarm system, make sure you use it.
- Place timers on different lights throughout the interior and exterior of the house.
- Have newspapers, mail and deliveries held or picked up by someone you trust.
- Do not publicize that you will be out of town for the holidays on your voicemail or to people you do not know.
Prevent Pick-Pocketing and Identity Theft
- Bring only the cash and credit cards you will need. Keep your credit cards and ID in a safe place, separate from each other and separate from your house keys.
- Never display large amounts of cash. Use checks and debit/credit cards when possible.
- Record credit card numbers and phone numbers so you can immediately report stolen credit cards to the police and issuing company.
- Keep receipts of your purchases until you have verified the purchases on your statement, then shred receipts that show your credit card number after you have reconciled your records.
- When shopping online, shop only at secure websites.
- Do not respond to emails asking you for your personal credit card information, especially your pin number.
General Safety Tips
- Share your shopping itinerary with someone you trust.
- Avoid overloading yourself with packages.
- Ask stores if a security guard can escort you to your vehicle if you feel unsafe, especially if it is dark and you are alone.
- Keep keys in your hand when walking to your car or home.
- Be alert and aware of your surroundings and be aware of anyone approaching you or your vehicle.
- To prevent distraction, avoid talking on your cell phone when walking in public, especially at night.
- Avoid dark, vacant or deserted areas; use well-lit, frequently traveled routes.
- Travel with a friend or in a group.
- If someone demands your purse or wallet, surrender it immediately – it’s not worth your life. Report the incident to the police immediately.
Who to Call on and off Campus
- Call 9-911 from a campus phone, or 911 from a cell phone or off-campus phone.
- If your path is clear, move away from the potential threat, and toward the nearest open business or public area.
- If a threat seems imminent and people are close by, yell, blow a whistle, honk your horn, or make a commotion in any way that you can to attract attention.
- Report all crimes (actual, attempted or suspected) to the police.
- For cell phone use, program these important phone numbers into your cell phone:
SFPD Emergency: 415/553-8090
SFPD Non-Emergency: 415/553-0123
UCSF Police Emergency: 415/476-6911
UCSF Police Non-Emergency: 415/476-1414
Help fight crime by reporting suspicious activity to UCSF PD immediately. For emergency or in-progress events, dial 9-911 when using on-campus land lines and 415/476-6911 when using cell phones. For non-emergency calls, please dial 415/476-1414.
This alert is a public service to the University community and in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act of 1998.