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Be safe during the holidays

12/2/2016, midnight
The city of Lancaster urges residents to be mindful of their safety and belongings during the holiday season. Officials suggest ...

The city of Lancaster urges residents to be mindful of their safety and belongings during the holiday season. Officials suggest a number of precautions the community can take to proactively guard against theft and robbery over the next month, specifically securing their homes and property from theft.

Among the home safety precautions, city officials and the Lancaster Sheriff’s station suggest:

• Leave house lights on when away, so the house appears to be occupied;

• Request signature confirmation for delivery packages, or ask a trusted neighbor to collect them to minimize chances of theft;

• Carefully dispose of boxes from valuable items, such as large electronics, by turning them inside-out or covering them with a garbage bag so potential burglars are not aware of the items in the house;

• Take caution regarding what is shared on social media. To prevent being the victim of a burglary, it is wise to omit a location when sharing about gifts. It is also recommended that you wait until after your vacation to post about it, to avoid advertising your absence to potential burglars;

• Residents can also create a home inventory with a photo, description, and a serial number of valuable items so that in the event of a burglary, identification of stolen items and insurance claims are easier.

They also suggest a number of personal safety tips during the holiday season:

• Always stay aware of your surroundings;

• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash;

• Avoid shopping alone when possible; ask store security to walk you to your vehicle if you are uncomfortable;

• If you have any valuables in your vehicle-including packages from your holiday shopping-place them in the trunk or hide them, preferably before you park;

• Park in well-lit areas;

• When driving, plan for extra travel time and eliminate distractions to help ensure a safe trip;

• Drink responsibly during holiday gatherings. Never drink and drive. Plan ahead to take a cab, Uber, public transportation, or ride with a designated driver.

Also, the Sheriff’s department, California Highway Patrol and law enforcement in general throughout the Southland will have extra patrols in force through the New Year looking for DUI and/or distracted motorists.