Crime Tips & Prevention
For a crime to occur, an opportunity has to exist and a motivated criminal has to be present. Help prevent crime by taking informed steps to make your neighborhood, business and family safe and resistant to crime and unattractive to criminals.
Any information related to a crime that has been committed can be reported ANONYMOUSLY to the ACSO Secret Witness Line: (334) 361-2599.
PROTECTING YOUR HOME
- Lock all doors to the outside, even when home.
- Never open the front door to a stranger.
- When planning an extended absence or vacation away, make sure your house doesn’t look empty. Make it look like it is lived in.
- Connect a light timer to lamps inside your home. Do not leave a light on 24 hours a day.
- Stop all deliveries (mail, newspaper), or have a trusted neighbor or friend pick items up daily.
- Do NOT advertise your absence. No Social Media Posts until you return home!
- Ask a neighbor or friend to check your home periodically
- Notify the Sheriff’s Office (334) 361-2500 and request an EXTRA PATROL for your residence. There is no cost for this service.
- For short absences leave a TV or radio on so that is appears someone is at home.
- Do NOT “hide” an extra key outside your home. Burglars know to look for these; instead leave a key with a neighbor.
- Do NOT post your last name on your mailbox or anywhere outside your home. Burglars can obtain your home phone number and call to verify if you are home.
- Do NOT advertise new purchases by piling empty boxes at the curb for trash day. Break them down and place in trash bags or haul them to your local dump or recycling center.
- Trust your instincts! If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, get out of it immediately into a safe environment.
Be a concerned neighbor. If you see something suspicious, please say something and contact the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office (334) 361-2500 to report the suspicious activity.
- Always stay alert and tuned into your surroundings.
- Do NOT be the head down texting distracted shopper. This makes you an easy target.
- Never walk or jog alone and vary your route from time to time.
- ALWAYS park in an area with lighting or well lite area.
- Have your keys ready and in your hand when walking to your vehicle. Before you enter your vehicle check to make sure no one is hiding inside by looking through your windows. Be AWARE!
- Hide your valuables and purchases in your truck or areas that cannot be seen from your vehicle windows.
- ALWAYS keep doors locked and windows up, do NOT give the thief easy access.
- If possible limit the amount of cash you carry. Use checks, credit cards or debit cards.
- Ladies carry your purse under your arm and limit the number of packages you carry.
- Gentlemen, if possible, carry your wallet in your front pocket or in an inside jacket pocket.
Report Domestic Violence
No one, not even someone you live with, has the right to hit or threaten you with violence. There is a law to protect you. If you are being physically or sexually abused or threatened by a family or household member you may be a victim of domestic violence. You need not be married to the abuser or related to be protected under the law. Family or household member is defined as any spouse, former spouse, person related by blood or marriage, or any other household member who is or was living the same household as you. In addition, the law also protects you from abuse by a person with whom you have a child in common. There is help! If you feel that you are in immediate danger, Dial 911!
Protection from Domestic Violence
If you have been abused physically or sexually, or have reason to fear you may become a victim of domestic violence, Alabama Law enables you to file for a Protection Order. A Protection Order is a document drawn up by the District Attorney’s Office and states a particular person must not have contact with another person. You are eligible for a Protection Order if you have a domestic tie with the abuser at some time and were recently the victim of abuse and/or threatened with abuse by the abuser or the victim of stalking.
When your personal identification information (name, social security number, driver’s license number, etc.) has been used fraudulently to open credit accounts, bank accounts, obtain loans, utilities, telephone services, etc., without your knowledge or permission, you are the victim of the crime of identity theft. If you believe that your identity has been stolen, you should take the following steps:
- Immediately contact the company or financial institution’s fraud department where your information was used and alert them of this fraudulent account. Have the account closed or cancelled.
- File a police report with the law enforcement agency holding jurisdiction where the identity theft occurred and obtain a case number.
- Contact the three credit reporting companies listed below to report an identity theft complaint. You will need to confirm that a fraud alert is placed on your personal credit file. This alert should help any future acts of fraud involving your personal identification information where a credit check would be conducted with the three credit bureaus.
- Placing a fraud alert is free. The initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for 90 days, and can be renewed after 90 days. Be sure the credit reporting company has your current contact information so they can get in touch with you.
- Record the dates you made calls or sent letters. Send all letters by certified mail and ask for a return receipt. That creates a record of your communications.
- Keep copies of letters in your files.
- Order your credit reports. After you place an initial fraud alert, the credit reporting company will explain your rights and how you can get a copy of your credit report. Placing an initial fraud alert entitles you to a free credit report from each report from each of the 3 credit reporting companies. Review each credit report for accuracy.
- Create an Identity Theft Report. Submit a complaint about the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. You will need to fill out an Identity Theft Affidavit online at www.identitytheft.gov. When finished writing all the details and completed the report, print a copy for your records. It will print as an Identity Theft Affidavit. Attach the Identity Theft Affidavit to your police report to make a complete Identity Theft Report.
- An Identity Theft Report helps you deal with credit reporting companies, debt collectors, and businesses that opened accounts in your name. You can use the report to:
- Get fraudulent information removed from your credit report.
- Stop a company from collecting debts that result from identity theft, or from selling the debt to another company for collection.
- Place an extended fraud alert on your credit report.
- Get information from companies about accounts the identity theft opened or misused.
- Other agencies you might want to contact and report Identity Theft
|Internal Revenue Service
|Social Security Administration
|www.socialsecurity.gov and search for “Fraud” in the search box.
Remember to DIAL 911 in an emergency!