Posts tagged “crime prevention

How to thwart crime and stay safe this school year

By Officer Tristen C. Lopez, College Station Police Department

With classes starting at Texas A&M and Blinn College next week, it’s an ideal time to review some common sense ways for students to stay safe and avert crime.

Secure your property

Regardless of the location of your neighborhood or apartment complex, never leave your keys in your car — or even a nearby car — and make sure always to lock your car doors. If possible, don’t leave valuables — especially guns — in your car. If that’s not an option, hide them.

More than 90% of car burglaries don’t involve forced entry. Be sure you always lock the doors to your residence, too.

Did you just buy a brand-new 80-inch television to enjoy Aggie football games? Don’t leave the box by your curb to advertise your shiny new possession to anyone who drives past. Break up the box and put it in your trash container or a bag, or at least put it out the morning of your scheduled bulk trash pick-up.

Buzzed driving = drunken driving

About every 20 minutes in Texas, someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol. You already know that .08% blood-alcohol content is the legal limit in Texas, but you’re also intoxicated if you feel the effects of alcohol or drugs, including marijuana.

An arrest for driving while intoxicated can cost you a whopping $17,000, so always designate a driver, call a taxi or ride-hailing service (Uber/Lyft), or use Carpool.

Party and study drugs

You risk arrest for driving under the influence of any drug or substance, not just alcohol.

Marijuana use remains illegal in Texas. It will get you arrested and is a felony if you have more than four ounces. That also goes for possession of marijuana concentrates such as THC oil, hash, wax, or shatter.

Obviously, you should avoid all illegal drugs and take appropriate precautions with prescription drugs. If you share prescribed drugs or take those that are meant for someone else, you’re breaking the law.

Minors and alcohol

You must be at least 21 years old to drink alcohol in Texas legally, and we strictly enforce the law in College Station. If you’re under 21, the easiest way to get caught is to possess alcohol at Northgate, a tailgate, or at a loud neighborhood or apartment party.

Getting a fake ID isn’t worth it, either. You risk getting a costly ticket or even an arrest for possessing a fake or altered ID, or one that isn’t yours. Lying to a police officer about your name or date of birth, or running away, typically results in an automatic arrest. Don’t turn a ticket into an arrest!

Whether you are of legal age or not, don’t supply alcohol to minors. You risk arrest if you allow your under-21 friends even to take a sip of your alcoholic beverage.

Disorderly conduct

An unreasonable level of noise (more than 85 decibels on public property, or when someone complains about it) usually results in a ticket. That means you need to stay in control of your parties.

Fighting usually results in a misdemeanor arrest, and public urination is illegal under city ordinance.

Hazing

Hazing is against most colleges’ codes of conduct — and it’s illegal.

Hazing is any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus that endangers a student’s mental or physical health or safety as part of membership in an organization.

Hazing includes any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the student’s mental or physical health or safety.

Part of college life is enjoying yourself and having fun with your friends. The best way to do that is to take proper precautions and avoiding unnecessary risks.

Here’s to a great school year!

 


About the Blogger

Tristen Lopez is in his 10th year with the College Station Police Department.


 

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Holiday Safety: Use extreme caution when shopping with kids

This is the second post in a series about keeping your family and possessions safe this holiday season.

 By Lt. Craig Anderson, CSPD Public Information Officer

Stores and malls traditionally see their largest crowds during the holidays when much of the population is out searching for that perfect Christmas present.

It’s easy to lose track of essential items such as cell phones and car keys. But those things pale in comparison to what we hold dearest – our children. It’s easy for you and your kids to be distracted by all the sights, sounds, and crowds of holiday shopping, so make sure they stay with you at all times.

Nothing takes the place of your supervision when you are in a public place with your children.  If you think you might be distracted when shopping, make other arrangements for your children’s care.

If your kids do tag along, keep these practical tips in mind:

Adult Supervision

Supervise your child and always accompany young children to the restroom. Make sure your kids know to stay with you and that they check with you or the adult in charge before going anywhere. Know where your children are and who they’re with at all times.

Never use video arcades, movie theaters, or playgrounds as babysitters, and don’t expect employees in toy or specialty stores to supervise and care for your children.

Getting Separated

Practice safe shopping skills with your children. Teach them how to locate adult sources of help and checking with you before going anywhere in a store or mall.

Talk to your kids about what to do if you become separated. Designate a meeting place such as a store’s sales counter or the mall’s information booth. Teach younger children to look for uniformed security or police officers, salespeople with nametags, or people in information booths. Make sure your kids know never to leave the store or mall or go looking for you in the parking lot.

Older Kids

If you allow your older children to go to the mall or other activities without you, they should always take a friend and check in with you on a regular basis. Be sure to have a clear plan for picking them up — including place and time — and what to do if plans change.

Let’s work together to keep College Station a safe place to live, work and play by taking away opportunities for crime. The College Station Police Department wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season.

 


About the Blogger

Lt. Craig Anderson is in his 30th year with the College Station Police Department.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 

 


Holiday Safety: Be careful when shopping — even online

This is the first post of a series about keeping your family and property safe this holiday season.

By Lt. Craig Anderson, CSPD Public Information Officer

When Christmas shopping, you usually find yourself among enormous crowds at retail shops, malls, and grocery stores. These sizable gatherings also provide a perfect cover for those who are a little short on Christmas spirit — thieves.

If you shop online, you are equally susceptible to being targeted.

Don’t let the bad guys spoil your holiday season. By following these 10 simple tips, you reduce your chances of becoming a victim:

  1. Keep careful track of your bags and other packages. If you leave something behind, it could be stolen or discarded.
  2. Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies when taking mass transit: report any unattended packages to security or staff.
  3. Be sure not to buy more than you can carry. If your packages are making it hard for you to walk upright or see, ask a store employee to help you take them to your car.
  4. Check receipts to see whether your full credit card number appears. If a receipt has the entire number on it, take a pen and thoroughly scratch it out.
  5. Double check that you have your credit cards and checkbook after you pay for your items.
  6. Before surfing the Internet, secure your personal computers by updating your security software. Your computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam software, as well as a good firewall installed. Visit bytecrime.org for free software downloads.
  7. Keep your personal information and passwords private and secure. Don’t respond to requests to verify your password or credit card information unless you initiated the contact. Legitimate businesses won’t contact you in this manner.
  8. Beware of bargains from unfamiliar online companies. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  9. Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the locked padlock icon or “https” in the URL address.
  10. Shop online companies you know and trust. Check for background information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company.

Safe Exchange Zone

If you purchase an item through a website such as Craig’s List and need to exchange property in person with a stranger, we encourage you to use the designated exchange zone in the police department’s main parking lot at  2611 South Texas Ave. We record video of the area 24 hours a day.

Let’s work together to keep College Station a safe place to live, work and play by taking away opportunities for crime. The College Station Police Department wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season.

 


About the Blogger

Lt. Craig Anderson is in his 30th year with the College Station Police Department.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


How to avoid being a spring break crime victim

By Lt. Steve Brock, CSPD Public Information Officer

Spring break is a time of fun and relaxation for many students. But it can also be a time for criminals to thrive.

Don’t let crime spoil your vacation. You can reduce your chances of being a victim by following these tips to protect your home — and yourself — while you’re away.

Protect Your Home

  • Don’t advertise your plans to strangers or on social media outlets.
  • Make sure your home looks lived in since most burglars want to avoid confrontation.
  • Stop mail and newspaper deliveries or ask a friend or neighbor to make daily collections.
  • Hide empty garbage cans or ask a neighbor to move your container to the curb and bring it in after collection.
  • Leave shades and blinds in normal positions.
  • Put an automatic timer on lights and radios, preferably tuned to talk radio.
  • If possible, have neighbors randomly park their vehicle in your driveway.
  • Leave a key with a trusted neighbor. Don’t hide keys in a mailbox or under a doormat or planter –  or anywhere outside.
  • Store valuables in a safe deposit box or take smaller items with you.
  • Make a record of the serial numbers for your valuable items and take the list with you, store it in your safe deposit box or send it to your personal email account.
  • Engrave your driver’s license number or a unique identifying mark on the back of all electronics and computers.
  • Lock all windows and doors. Double lock windows with inexpensive key locks.
  • Double check garage doors before you leave and unplug or disarm automatic garage door openers if possible.
  • If you’re leaving a vehicle at home, don’t leave your garage door opener in it.
  • Lock gates to fenced back yards.

Protect Yourself

  • Make sure your friends and relatives know where you’re vacationing. Call friends or family members to let them know you’ve arrived and returned safely.
  • If you drink, do it in moderation and make responsible decisions. Follow the alcohol laws at your destination.
  • Have a designated driver or designated sober friend in your group to be sure everyone gets home safely.
  • If a member of your group passes out from alcohol consumption, call 911 immediately.
  • There’s safety in numbers. Try your best to stay around your friends, and never go anywhere alone.
  • Don’t ever allow a friend go off with strangers and never take strangers to your room.
  • Don’t assume that someone you’ve just met will look out for your best interests. Acquaintances sexually assault more people than strangers.
  • Only accept drinks from a licensed bartender or consume drinks you pour yourself. If you don’t know the source of the drink, you risk receiving an altered beverage.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings, know where you’re at, and know how to get back to your hotel.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or traveler’s checks. Don’t flash your money around or let anyone know how much money you have with you.
  • Don’t be a victim of identity theft. Never allow someone access to your personal identification or credit cards, which should always be kept in your purse or wallet and never left unattended.
  • Be cautious when sharing your personal information or where you are staying.
  • Ensure the safety of your valuables by not bringing them or locking them in a hotel safe. If you don’t have access to a safe, stow your valuables in the trunk of your car or a secure place in your room.
  • Always keep your hotel room door locked. Use the peephole before answering the door, and never open it for someone you don’t know.
  • Finally, trust your instincts. If a situation or your surroundings make you uneasy, you probably sense something. Be watchful and alert.

Have a fun, relaxing – and safe – spring break!

 


About the Author

Lt. Steve Brock has been with the College Station Police Department since 2004.


 

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5 ways to protect your property, stop vehicle break-ins

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Lt. Steve Brock, CSPD Public Information Officer

Since the start of 2017, about 57 percent of the reported vehicle burglaries in College Station have been the result of owners leaving their cars and trucks unlocked.

texas_gun_rights_bumper_sticker-rd873d81da0ec48959af36cea1496add6_v9wht_8byvr_324A recent trend has been for burglars to target trucks displaying stickers or emblems that suggest a firearm could be inside. After breaking a window, they quickly search the interior, especially areas where a firearm could be stored.

Since burglary is a crime of opportunity, prevention is the key. By following these five simple rules, you can make vehicle break-ins less enticing and much more challenging:

  1. Lock your vehicle.
  2. Park in a well-lit area.
  3. Take your valuables with you, hide them in the vehicle, or lock them in the trunk.
  4. Consider removing stickers and emblems that suggest a firearm may be inside.
  5. Consider leaving your gun at home or carry it with you when legal.

By being vigilant and careful, you can help us protect your property and prevent vehicle burglaries.

 


About the Author

Lt. Steve Brock has been with the College Station Police Department since 2004.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Prevent holiday vehicle burglaries and firearm thefts

By Lt. Steve Brock, Public Information Officer

 vaximilian / 123RF Stock PhotoUnfortunately, this is the time of the year when thefts increase, including the stealing of firearms from vehicles and residences. Recently, firearms were stolen from three locked vehicles that were burglarized.

The College Station Police Department encourages you to take proactive measures to make it difficult for would-be criminals to break into your vehicles and home.

Vehicles (more…)