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Holiday Safety Tips

Post Date:12/19/2018

The holidays have arrived, and crooks love the holidays as much as everyone else. The Rancho Cordova Police Department (RCPD) is providing information and tips to help protect you and your family.

Protect Your Packages

  • Sign up for email or text notifications, so you know when your package is delivered.
  • Have your package delivered to the post office, UPS, Amazon Locker or your office.
  • Require a signature upon delivery.

If You’re Shopping

  • Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Park in a well-lit space, and be sure to lock the vehicle, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
  • Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • Dress casually and comfortably. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings. 
  • Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused. 
  • Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps. 
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
  • Shopping with children? Teach children to stay close to you at all times. Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you. Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security.

When Driving

  • Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.
  • 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 car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside. 
  • Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
  • Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
  • When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings. 
  • Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area. 
  • Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location. 

Strangers at Your Door 

  • Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
  • It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes, although no charity is involved. Ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, do not donate.

If You’re Traveling

  • Sign up for a vacation home check by our Volunteers in Partnership with the Sheriff (VIPS) by calling (916) 875-9600, or filling out this form and returning it to RCPD, 2897 Kilgore Road, Monday-Friday between 9 AM-5 PM.
  • Get an automatic timer for your lights.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to watch your home.

At Home

  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes. 
  • 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. 
  • When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home. 
  • 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 Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green. 
  • Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.

Using an ATM

  • If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a police station, mall, or well-lighted location. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need. 
  • Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you. 
  • Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location. 

How to Report a Crime

  • To report a crime in progress or suspicious activity, call 9-1-1.
  • You can also now send a text message to 9-1-1 from your mobile phone or handheld device. Learn When and How to Text 9-1-1
  • To report a crime after the fact, please call our non-emergency number at (916) 362-5115.
  • File a police report online at
  • Have information on a crime? Submit a tip online at
  • Report homeless camps, shopping carts, traffic safety concerns, abandoned vehicles, and more using Fresh Connect, the City’s online reporting system. Simply snap a photo and send your report via the City’s website or mobile app, and get an update once the problem is resolved. Visit to get started today!

RCPD wishes you a safe, happy and peaceful holiday season!

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