Prevention Tips For Seniors
and the fear of crime create special problems for
the elderly. Crime prevention is everyone's
responsibility, not just a job for law enforcement.
Seniors can learn how to protect themselves from
crime by following these simple, commonsense
suggestions. Share these tips with your neighbors
and friends, to make it tough for criminals to work
in your neighborhood.
Tips For When You Are:
In Your Car
open your door automatically. Install and use a
your doors and windows.
your daily routine.
"Neighbor Watch" to keep an eye on your
leave notes on the door when going out.
lights on when going out at night; use a timer to
turn lights on and off when you are away for an
neighbors and the police when going away on a
you are away remember to
deliveries such as newspapers and arrange for
someone - a neighbor's child, perhaps - to mow the
lawn if need be. Arrange for your mail to be held
by the Post Office, or ask a neighbor to collect
it for you.
wary of unsolicited offers to make repairs to your
home. Deal only with reputable businesses.
an inventory with serial numbers and photographs
of re-saleable appliances, antiques and furniture.
Leave copies in a safe place.
hesitate to report crime or suspicious activities.
Install deadbolt locks on all your doors.
your home well lit at night, inside and out; keep
for proper identification from delivery persons or
stranger asks to use your telephone, offer to
place the call for him or her yourself.
let a stranger into your home.
leave notes on your door when you are gone.
hide your keys under the mat or in other
give out information over the phone indicating you
are alone or that you won't be home at a certain
arrive at home and suspect a stranger may be
inside, DON'T GO IN. Leave quietly and call 911 to
report the crime.
are attacked on the street, make as much noise as
possible by calling for help or blowing a whistle.
Do not pursue your attacker. Call 911 and report
the crime as soon as possible.
walking alone at night. Try to have a friend
accompany you in high risk areas . . . even during
carrying weapons . . . they may be used against
plan your route and stay alert to your
surroundings. Walk confidently.
companion accompany you.
away from buildings and doorways; walk in
your key ready when approaching your front door.
dangle your purse away from your body. (Twelve
percent of all crimes against the elderly are
purse snatchings and street robberies.)
carry large, bulky shoulder bags; carry only what
you need. Better yet, sew a small pocket inside
your jacket or coat. If you don't have a purse, no
one will try to snatch it.
your purse very close to you . . . don't dangle it
from your arm. Never leave your purse in a
shopping cart. Never leave your purse unattended.
carry any more cash than is necessary. Many
grocery stores now accept checks and automatic
teller cards instead of cash.
display large sums of cash.
In Your Car
keep your car doors locked, whether you are in or
out of your car. Keep your gas tank full and your
engine properly maintained to avoid breakdowns.
your car breaks down, pull over to the right as
far as possible, raise the hood, and wait INSIDE
the car for help. Avoid getting out of the car and
making yourself a target before police arrive.
stop signs and traffic lights, keep the car in
well-lit and busy streets. Plan your route.
Don't leave your purse on the seat beside you; put
it on the floor, where it is more difficult for
someone to grab it.
Lock bundles or bags in the trunk. If interesting
packages are out of sight, a thief will be less
tempted to break in to steal them.
When returning to your car, check the front and
back seat before entering.
Never pick up hitchhikers.
criminals know exactly when government checks
arrive each month, and may pick that day to
attack. Avoid this by using Direct Deposit, which
sends your money directly from the government to
the bank of your choice. And, at many banks, free
checking accounts are available to senior
citizens. Your bank has all the information.
withdraw money from your bank accounts for anyone
except YOURSELF. Be wary of con artists and
get-rich schemes that probably are too-good-to-be-
should store valuables in a Safe Deposit Box.
give your money to someone who calls on you,
identifying himself as a bank official.
you to remove your money.
have been swindled or conned, report the crime to
your local police or Prosecuting Attorney's
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