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Talking Turkey Day Travel Safety

Nov 24, 2008

The National Crime Prevention Council says travel safety has taken on a new meaning during these tough economic times. The organization best known for its icon, McGruff the Crime Dog, says opportunistic thieves may be looking for unprotected homes or pre-occupied travelers during the Thanksgiving holiday.

NCPC suggests following these safety tips to avoid problems during the start of the busiest travel season of the year.

  Safety begins at home
  --  Make sure your house looks "lived-in" when you are away.  Lock all
      doors and windows, and set household lights (inside and out) on
  --  Trim your hedges and bushes so thieves do not have a place to hide
  --  Have a neighbor park a car in your driveway to make it appear as if
      someone is home.
  --  Invest in an alarm.  An alarm system controls access points to your
      home and lets you know if someone has invaded your space.
  --  Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to watch your house and pick up your
      mail and newspapers while you are away.
  --  File a "travel plan." Let someone know where you are going, the route
      you plan to take, and when you plan to arrive. If you deviate from
      that plan, let someone know.

  Watch out for clever criminals
  --  Do not stop if your car is bumped from behind or if someone says there
      is something wrong with your car.  Go to a service station or a
      well-lit, populated area and call for help.
  --  Fill the gas tank before dark and lock your car doors, and roll up
      your windows if you step away from the car for any reason.
  --  Never leave items of value such as cell phones, cameras, jewelry, or
      other expensive belongings visible in your car.  Lock them in your
      trunk or take them with you.

  Safety away from home
  --  Carry money separately from credit cards. Carry your purse close to
      your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.
  --  If you choose to shop on Black Friday, do not overburden yourself with
      packages to avoid being an easy target.
  --  Stick to well-lighted and well-traveled streets at all times.
  --  Select ATM machines in visible, well-lighted locations.
  --  Do not leave valuables in your hotel room. Most hotels have safes for
      guest use.
  --  Keep your hotel room door locked, even when you are inside.

  About the National Crime Prevention Council

The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is a private, nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to be the nation's leader in helping people keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe from crime. NCPC manages public service advertising under the National Citizens' Crime Prevention Campaign -- symbolized by McGruff the Crime Dog® and his "Take A Bite Out Of Crime®" slogan -- and acts as secretariat for the Crime Prevention Coalition of America, more than 400 national, federal, state, and local organizations representing thousands of constituents who are committed to preventing crime. NCPC is funded through a variety of government agencies, corporate and private foundations, and donations from private individuals. For more information on crime prevention issues, visit

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SOURCE: National Crime Prevention Council

CONTACT: Michelle Boykins of the National Crime Prevention Council,
+1-202-261-4184, +1-202-466-6272, +1-202-296-1356 (fax),

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