UCSF Police Offer Holiday Safety Tips

December 07, 2012

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.