The Redlands Police Department’s goal is to reduce crime by the education of the community. The Crime Prevention and Community Education Unit will oversee and coordinate crime prevention activities and make presentations to citizen, community, and school groups regarding crime and safety issues. They will be available for information regarding traffic and parking questions and education including Child Seat inspections.
The Redlands Police Department continues to implement and create innovative ways to interact and share information with the community. As always we look forward to suggestions and input from citizens as well as the opportunity to assist with questions or concerns.
For further information or questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Identity theft is a serious problem affecting more people every day. That’s why learning how to prevent it is so important. Knowing how to prevent identity theft makes your identity more secure. The more people who know how to prevent identity theft, the less inclined others may be to commit the crime.
If you feel you are a victim of identity theft, please check out our Identity Theft page.
Here are some additional resources to help with Identity Theft
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Preventing identity theft starts with managing your personal information carefully and sensibly. We recommend a few simple precautions to keep your personal information safe.
Only carry essential documents with you
Not carrying extra credit cards, your Social Security card, birth certificate or passport with you outside the house can help you prevent identity theft.
Keep new checks out of the mail
When ordering new checks, you can prevent identity theft by picking them up at the bank instead of having them sent to your home. This makes it harder for your checks to be stolen, altered and cashed by identity thieves.
Be careful when giving out personal information over the phone
Identity thieves may call, posing as banks or government agencies. To prevent identity theft, do not give out personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call.
Your trash is their treasure
To prevent identity theft, shred your receipts, credit card offers, bank statements, returned checks and any other sensitive information before throwing it away.
Make sure others are keeping you safe
Ensure that your employer, landlord and anyone else with access to your personal data keeps your records safe.
Stay on top of your credit
Make sure your credit reports are accurate.
Protect your Social Security Number
To prevent identity theft, make sure your bank does not print your Social Security Number on your personal checks.
Follow your credit card billing cycles closely
Identity thieves can start by changing your billing address. Making sure you receive your credit card bill every month is an easy way to prevent identity theft.
Keep a list of account numbers, expiration dates and telephone numbers filed away
If your wallet is stolen, being able to quickly alert your creditors is essential to prevent identity theft.
Create passwords or PIN numbers out of a random mix of letters and numbers
Doing so makes it harder for identity thieves to discover these codes, and makes it easier for you to prevent identity theft.
Away from Home?
Protecting Yourself Out in Public
- ALWAYS keep your purse close to your side. While shopping, NEVER leave your purse unattended in your cart.
- NEVER carry more cash than absolutely necessary.
- DO NOT accept help from strangers to carry your bags or load your groceries in your car.
- AVOID walking around alone at night or in high crime areas.
- BE LEARY of scammers that approach you at the bank, shopping centers and parking lots. NEVER offer to withdraw money for them in exchange for a prize, check, etc. THIS IS A SCAM!!
- ALWAYS have your house or car key in your hand before you approach your door so you can get in quickly.
Tips to Stay Safe While Walking
- Plan the safest route to your destination and use it. Choose well-lit, busy streets and avoid passing vacant lots, alleys, or construction sites. Take the long way if it’s the safest.
- Know your neighborhood. Find out what stores and restaurants are open late and where the police and fire stations are.
- Make sure you know where your children are going when they go out and encourage them to play with other kids. Show them safe places in the neighborhood where they can go if they ever feel scared.
- Carry your purse close to your body and keep a firm grip on it. Carry a wallet in an inside coat or side trouser pocket, not in a rear trouser pocket.
- Don’t flaunt expensive jewelry or clothing.
- Walk facing traffic so you can see approaching cars.
- Don’t overburden yourself with packages and groceries that make it hard to react.
- Bring emergency change for cab fare, bus fare, or a telephone call.
- Have your car or house key in hand as you approach your vehicle or home.
- If you suspect you’re being followed by someone on foot, cross the street and head for the nearest well-lit, populated area. Walk quickly or run to a house or store to call police. If you are really scared, scream for help.
- If you are being followed by someone in a car, change direction immediately and make a visible point of writing down the license number.
- Never hitchhike.
Motor vehicle theft and theft of items from autos are just a few examples of rising crimes of opportunity. Owners must be vigilant and follow common-sense prevention tips to ensure their property is not stolen.
Continue reading to learn more about each crime, obtain prevention tips, and find organizations and partners that can help you protect your property.
Motor vehicle theft is usually a crime of opportunity. Auto theft can happen fast. An unoccupied car, with its engine left running by the owner, can be stolen in a matter of seconds. No geographic area or make or model of car is immune to theft. More than two-thirds of all auto theft occurs at night. In 2010 an estimated 737,142 motor vehicle thefts occurred. Motor vehicle theft cost Americans $4.5 billion. The average loss per stolen vehicle was $6,152.
- Never leave your vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.
- Always lock your doors and close your windows when you leave your car.
- Park in busy and well-lighted areas.
- Report auto theft immediately to police and include the make, model, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and plate number.
- Use alarms and anti-theft devices.
- Use advanced anti-theft precautions, such as etching the vehicle’s VIN into the windows, making the vehicle easier to identify if stolen. Install a vehicle tracking system (such as a GPS recovery system). It can help police monitor and recover stolen vehicles.
Theft from Vehicles
Theft from your vehicle is also a crime of opportunity, often when owners are not vigilant. Electronics and portable devices such as iPads, laptops, and cell phones are among items most often targeted. Even small change or a charging cable left visible may be enough to entice a criminal to break a car window.
Each year, approximately $1.2 billion in personal items are stolen from autos nationwide. About 1.85 million thefts happen each year, with countless more attempted break-ins.
- Park in busy and well-lighted areas, keeping your car in plain sight.
- Since approximately one-fourth of thefts from vehicles are from unsecured autos, close all of your windows and lock all of your doors.
- Deter would-be thieves by using alarms and anti-theft devices.
- Keep valuable items, including their accessories, out of sight.
- Consider leaving expensive items at home unless they are truly needed, or take them with you when you leave your car.
- Report any suspicious activity that you see in parking lots or your neighborhood
Residential burglaries literally hit close to home. There is almost nothing more personal than having one’s home, and one’s privacy, invaded by an unwelcome outsider. The Redlands Police Department has programs to help with prevention such as vacation house checks and Neighborhood Watch. Find out more on our While You Are Away page.
Things a Burglar Looks For When “Shopping” for a Home
- A home that looks unoccupied. Are there newspapers piling up on the lawn? Is the mailbox overflowing? Are the lights always on or always off? Are vehicles that are usually in the driveway not there, or vehicles in the driveway not being used for days on end?
- Can a burglar’s access to the home be easily hidden? Are there high hedges that block windows? On the rear of the home, does a fence block sight lines of doors and windows? At night, does a lack of outside lighting make it hard to see what’s going on around the perimeter of the home?
- Is there an alarm in the home? If a burglar eyes an alarm company sign or stickers, he’ll usually think twice about striking that home.
- The schedule of the residents. Most residential burglaries take place during work hours, because often homes are unoccupied during these hours. When do the residents leave for work? When do They return from work? Do they come home for lunch?
- What’s in the trash? Is the box from the new 60” plasma HDTV prominently displayed on the curb, awaiting trash pickup?
- During the holidays, window shopping takes on a whole new meaning. A holiday tree prominently displayed in the front window, complete with holiday gifts, makes for great window shopping for burglars.
- Open garage doors. Not only show property to steal, but tools to use for this and future burglaries. Things like ladders, hammers, saws, drills….
- Dogs. Burglars don’t like dogs. Even small dogs, with big barks, make a home a little less attractive to burglars. Remember: criminals don’t like witnesses, and don’t like noise.
- Unlocked doors and windows. Most homes have at least one window that the owner has forgotten to lock. Opening a door or window makes a lot less noise than breaking glass.
- Where is the spare key? Burglars know all the hiding spots
Things Homeowners Can Do to Make It Harder for a Burglar
- Lock all doors and windows. On the subject of locks, invest in a good lock. Deadbolt locks with long bolts that terminate in a good, solid door frame makes breaking down a door a chore.
- And, invest in a good, solid core door.
- Keep shrubs trimmed back. If windows are visible, it’s easier for neighbors or police to spot a broken window. Also, consider “thorny” shrubs. If it’s painful to access a window over shrubs, that’s a deterrent.
- Keep your garage door closed at all times. Not only does this prevent items from being stolen, it also takes away another sign that you’re home or away.
- If you have a garage, use it to store your vehicles. This makes it harder for crooks to not only determine when you’re home and when you’re gone, but also helps prevent them from burglarizing your vehicles.
- Get to know your neighbors. It is a great deterrent to crime. An extra set of eyes keeping a watch on your property, reporting suspicious activity, and helping keep you safe. Be sure and return the favor and keep an eye on their home, too.
- Consider an alarm system. Most insurance companies offer discounts for alarms, and some systems also monitor for fire.
- Watch what your throw out with the trash. If you’ve purchased a new TV, computer, or other expensive item, consider another way to dispose of the box. Will the store dispose of the box in their trash for you? Can you cut up the box and place in garbage bags?
- When away for long periods of time, use timers for lights to give the home a lived in look. Leave a radio or TV on at a conversational volume level. Have a neighbor pick up your paper and mail, and accept packages. Have that neighbor remove door hangers and other advertisements that pile up on the front door. You can also contact or via the website ask the Redlands Police Department to do vacation house checks.
- Consider a safe deposit box for jewelry storage, especially expensive jewelry, or jewelry you don’t wear often.
- Join or form a crime watch group. Getting to know a lot of your neighbors, and inviting the police to your meetings, is a powerful tool in your arsenal against crime. There is also a “virtual” Neighborhood Watch program called Nextdoor. Contact the Redlands Police Department for further information on both Neighborhood Watch programs.
- Turn on exterior lighting after dark. Use the same schedule for lighting when you are away that you do when you’re home. Consider timers for exterior lights.
- Think like a burglar. Ask yourself, “what would a burglar find when he looks at my house that would be inviting?”
- Remember that YOU are an important partner in the fight against crime
Garage and Shed Burglary Prevention Tips
One very common form of home burglary is from open garage doors or garage doors that are accessed using a stolen garage door opener. Most homeowners fail to realize that many thieves drive around looking for open garage doors from which they can help themselves to the contents. Always keep your garage door closed, even if you are only away from the garage for a few minutes.
Many people think they don’t have to worry about thieves in their neighborhood because it’s a safe neighborhood, but that’s exactly where thieves go to steal.
Here are a few measures that can be taken to protect your garage and shed
- Use a good lock on ALL shed and garage doors.
- Lock windows and use blinds to conceal items inside.
- Mark all property, including lawnmowers, generators, bikes, snow blowers, saws, leaf blowers, weed eaters, power tools etc. with your driver’s license number and state abbreviations.
- Secure items such as lawnmowers, generators, leaf blowers and bicycles to fixed objects using a good chain/cable and pad lock.
- Don’t leave the garage remote attached to the visor in your vehicle. Either lock the remote in a secure place such as the glove box or invest in a remote you can attach to your key ring.
- Frost or cover your garage windows. Don’t do thieves any favors by enabling them to see when your vehicle is gone, a better idea would be to replace the door with one that lacks windows
- Keep a written copy of ALL serial numbers of property stored in sheds & garages
Here are several tips when picking up and dropping off of children from school
- Position your child so they exit the vehicle curbside, away from traffic.
- Children under the age of 12 must ride in the back.
- Buckle up ALL occupants.
- Plan enough time to account for traffic in and around school.
- Familiarize yourself with the schools drop-off and pick-up practices and locations and always follow them.
- If the signs say “No stopping or parking at any time” that means “No stopping or parking at any time”!!!!!
- Do not block crosswalks or fire zone areas.
- Do not position your vehicle where you will have to back up after drop off.
- Put your vehicle in park and use your Emergency Brake.
- Carpool when possible. It helps to elevate traffic.
- Refrain from using any electronic devices while driving.
- Discuss the traffic rules with your child.
- Try to take your child to the drop-off area and “practice” drop-off and pick-up during off hours.
- Explain about crossing guards and that they are to be obeyed.
- Teach children to properly use marked crosswalks; and remind them to walk, never run.
- Remind children to NEVER enter the street from between parked cars. Oncoming traffic cannot see them.
- Have children look LEFT, look RIGHT, and then look LEFT again when crossing the street.
Crossing guards are at locations near the school to assist with the safety of the children. Please keep the safety of all in mind and obey the sign!
For any questions or concerns regarding the Crossing Guards please contact Sgt. K. Wright at 909-335-4730.
Bullying is a serious problem for kids, but anyone, young or old, can be a victim of bullying.
Bullying is often dismissed as part of growing up, but it’s actually an early form of aggressive, violent behavior.
Statistics show that one in four children who bully will have a criminal record before the age of 30. Bullies often cause serious problems that schools, families and neighbors should not ignore.
Typical bullying behavior may include:
- Taking another child’s money
Fear and anxiety about bullies can cause some children to avoid school, carry a weapon for protection or even more violent activity.
Although anyone can be the target of bullying behavior, the victim is more often singled out because of psychological traits rather than physical traits.
A typical victim is likely to be:
- Anxious or insecure
Some children are harassed for physical reasons such as:
- Physically small
- Handicapped or special needs
- Minority ethnic group
- Clothing denoting religious faith
Bullying should not be dismissed as “just part of growing up”
Some bullies are outgoing, aggressive and expressive. They use brute force or openly harass the victim. This type of bully rejects rules and regulations and needs to rebel to achieve a feeling of superiority and security. Other bullies are more subtle and may not want to be recognized as harassers or tormentors. This type of bully gets power discreetly through cunning, manipulation and deception.
As different as these two types may seem, all bullies have some characteristics in common
- Concern only for themselves
- Desire to control others
- Using others to get what they want
- Motivated by a sense of inferiority or insecurity
- Inability to see someone else’s point of view
What you can do
Encourage your children to talk about school, local events and the other kids in class. Pay attention to stories about trips to and from school so you can identify any problems they may be having.
Take your child’s complaints of bullying seriously. Probing a seemingly minor complaint may reveal more severe grievances. Children are often afraid or ashamed to admit they have been bullied.
Watch for signs that your child may be a victim. Symptoms may include withdrawal, a drop in grades, torn clothes or missing money or supplies.
Tell the school or organization immediately if you think your child is being bullied. Alerted caregivers should monitor the children and take steps to ensure your child’s safety.
Work with other parents. Collaborate so neighborhood children can be supervised on their way to and from school.
Tips for parents to discourage bullying
Don’t bully your own children, physically or verbally. Use non-physical, consistently enforced discipline measures as opposed to ridiculing, yelling or ignoring your children when they misbehave.
Help your child learn the social skills he or she needs to make friends. A confident, resourceful child who has friends is less likely to be bullied or to bully others.
Praise your child for showing kindness. Let children know that kindness is valued.
Teach children ways to resolve arguments without violent words or actions.
Teach your child self-protection skills. Children should learn how to walk confidently, stay alert to what’s going on around them and stand up for themselves verbally.
Provide opportunities for children to talk about bullying. Time spent together such as mealtimes, watching TV, reading aloud, playing a game or car trips are good times for family discussions.
Recognize that bullies may be acting out feelings of insecurity, anger or loneliness. If your child is a bully, get to the root of the problem. Seek out specific strategies you can use at home from a teacher, school counselor or child psychologist.
Senior Safety and Scams
Reports are made every day regarding fraudulent activities mostly against elderly residents. There are different forms of scams that are occurring. Listed are just a few of the most common ones.
The Grandparent Scam
You receive a phone call from someone saying Hi Grandma/Grandpa it’s me. They don’t give a name and are talking very excitedly. Then they tell you they have been arrested in Canada or somewhere and need money ASAP. They tell you to send the money by Western Union and they don’t want you to call their parents. They say the money is to keep it off their record or to give to an attorney or judge. They have been known to call back and ask for more money and will even let you talk to someone else claiming to be the attorney. They will continue to ask you for money for as long as you will send it.
If someone tells you not to tell anyone, there is usually a problem. Call your family first. Once the money is gone, it is gone.
Friend in Need Scam
This scam is usually done via email. The circumstances are about the same in that someone is claiming to be out of the country and needs money. They say they have been robbed or burglarized of their passport, wallet, credit cards, and identification. So of course, they need money to get a new passport and or plane tickets to get home. Before responding to this compromised email, call your friend first.
The “You Won the Lottery” Scam
Sometimes it is a letter, sometimes an email, and sometimes it is even a phone call. The subjects will even tell you this is not a scam. All you have to do is send them the cash to cover the insurance and/or the taxes on the millions of dollars you won in a foreign lottery (this amount could be in the tens of thousands). It sounds too good to be true doesn’t. That is because it is.
First what you need to remember is, you cannot win a foreign lottery. We are the only country that allows anyone who plays to win. Usually what occurs after winning a lottery you played is the State or whoever the lottery is with, will take the taxes, fees, insurance, (and whatever else they can get) directly out of the winnings.
The other big thing to remember is, if you didn’t play, you can’t win.
Yes, it is the IRS scam. The hard thing with this scam is they say they are the IRS. Who doesn’t panic when they hear IRS?
This scam the caller claims to be with the IRS and that you owe money. They tell you to go and get a prepaid card (such as a Green Dot card) while on the phone with them and read them the numbers otherwise they will come and arrest you. These subjects like to keep you on the phone so, once they get the numbers they can tell you they found other money that is owed. These subjects will even leave you a voicemail message with a number to call back with.
OK, I know owing the IRS sounds scary but, remember the IRS and any Law Enforcement will not call you ahead of time and tell you we are coming for. The IRS will also not call and tell you if you pay me now I won’t arrest you. Most of the time the IRS will not even call you. The first contact from the IRS is by mail. If you were not notified by mail this is your first warning this is possibly a scam.
Unfortunately there are even more scams going on, and new ones are reported every day. So, as with anything, if you are unsure, have a question, or want to report something, call us we are available 24/7.
For more information and tips regarding scams visit the FBI’s website on scams and common fraud.