Improve chances of recovery by recording serial numbers, taking photos and videos
A Portland resident has been encouraging her neighbors to maintain photos and an inventory of assets on file in the event of a loss. Her house was recently burglarized and she could not readily provide photos, serial numbers and descriptions of the items stolen to the police. Unfortunately, this will make it more challenging to get her property back if it is recovered by the police or community. The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) manages a warehouse-sized property room in Northwest Portland that is brimming with bicycles and other unclaimed property. Many of the items languish there because they have not been reported as stolen or the victim couldn’t provide serial numbers, photos or other unique identifiers that help link the items with the owner. Without that information, it also makes it difficult to prove that a suspect has stolen the property or at least is in possession of stolen items.
Create a list and take photos or videos of electronics, bikes, jewelry, art or other items, which you can refer to if they are stolen or damaged due to a fire or other disaster. It is a good idea to scan and save sales receipts on more expensive items in case your insurance company needs them. Where there are no identifiers, you may engrave or etch information onto the property, such as a driver’s license number. Some property may be immediately recovered following a theft, so please report theft as soon as possible. Besides a photo or video, here are some identifiers to include on your list:
- Serial Number
- Special features
Please store the list, photos and videos in a fireproof safe, safe deposit box, email account as an attached file, cloud and/or backup drive.
You can refer to PPB’s brochure called Operation Recovery as a guide: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/105272
Kenton Community Foot Patrol meets for their first walk
This last week, members of the newly formed Kenton Community Foot Patrol held their first kick-off walk. We met at Poises café and headed to Kenton Park. Two Park Rangers reviewed the Ranger program and park rules and regulations. We discussed how the foot patrol can help keep tabs on Kenton Park.
We then met with three Portland Police Officers near the Village School. After introductions, Sgt. Hayes provided some basic information on how North Precinct and the Patrol Division operate. He and his Officers are looking forward to working more directly with the Kenton Community. Two of the Officers continued on our walk as we traveled down Denver Ave. and returned to Downtown Kenton.
Thanks to the members of the Kenton Community Foot Patrol for stepping up and making a difference in their neighborhood!
For more info on Community Foot Patrols:
A Foot Patrol is a trained group of non-confrontational volunteers
organized to increase the safety and livability of their neighborhood.They walk their neighborhood streets, parks or schools to build community and identify and report problem areas. They may also identify projects for the group to work on that enhance the livability and vitality of the neighborhood. To learn more about FPs, please visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/320556
Take steps to secure personal and financial transactions online
For online purchases during the holidays, be cautious about the companies you do business with and take steps to secure your transactions:
- Immediately install updates to operating system, anti-virus/anti-malware and computer software as they become available. This will ensure that you have the latest patches needed to address security vulnerabilities and fix bugs.
- Be careful about what you click on. Links to shopping websites included in emails, ads, texts and social media may contain malware.
- Research the companies you are doing business with by checking the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) website as well as online reviews.
- If you maintain an online account with a retail store, establish unique passwords and consider employing additional security measures such as two-factor authentication where possible. Only provide the information required to set up the account and no more.
- Before entering any personal or financial information, check that the company’s website address begins with “https” and shows a padlock icon. This ensures your connection with the site is encrypted and secure. If your browser displays a green lock bar with the company name, this indicates that the authenticity and ownership of the website has been verified.
- To be safe, do not enter into financial transactions using public Wi-Fi. If you must do so, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
- Use a credit card instead of debit card for online purchases. There are more protections for credit card transactions. You will be in a better position if you can identify and dispute fraud before funds are deducted from your bank account.
- Review your credit card transactions on a regular basis.
For more information about online shopping safety, visit https://staysafeonline.org
Take steps to prevent your packages from being stolen during the holiday season
Package theft typically increases during the holidays. To prevent it, choose a safer delivery option:
- Arrange to pick up packages at the carrier or retail establishment.
- Require a signature on deliveries.
- Opt for deliveries to lockers or other secured locations where possible.
- Ship your package to a location where someone you trust will be available to receive it.
If it is offered, track the status of your delivery by email, text, or other alert. If you are going on vacation, make sure that no shipments will be delivered while you are away.
Although camera surveillance is beneficial to your home’s overall security, it will not deter package thieves.
Please be alert and report crime and suspicious activity in your neighborhood such as someone stealing a package or trailing a delivery truck by bike or car. For immediate threats to life or property or crimes in progress, call 9-1-1. For non-immediate threats occurring in Portland, call the police non-emergency number at 503-823-3333.
For more package theft prevention tips, click on our brochure: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/507822
Car prowl prevention strategies for the holiday season
During the holidays, busy residents frequently leave packages and luggage in their cars while shopping and running errands. In anticipation of this happening, car prowlers case shopping areas, targeting cars that contain valuables that are visible. Thieves can break into a car within seconds. Please take extra precautions to prevent car prowls this holiday season:
- Keep the interior of your car “showroom clean” with nothing in it. Thieves break into cars for anything that they think may be valuable or contain valuables including coins, gym and other bags, etc.
- Carry your purchases with you while you shop. If that’s impractical, place them in the trunk and move your car to another location in case a car prowler is observing the parking lot.
- Park in a well-lit and well-traveled area to increase the chances that other shoppers can observe your car.
- Hide accessories for mobile phones and other devices. They have value and indicate that an electronic device may be stashed in your vehicle.
- Remove documents containing personal information, garage door openers and other items that can make you vulnerable to other crimes.
- Close and lock windows and doors before you leave.
- Remember to activate the alarm upon exiting your car.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. If you observe someone looking into vehicles and/or checking car handles, report the suspicious activity to the police. Call 9-1-1 for immediate threats to life or property or crimes in progress. If it is not an immediate threat, you can call the police non-emergency number at 503-823-3333.
For more car prowl prevention tips, visit: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/320547
For more holiday shopping safety tips, see: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/555021