The following article was submitted by officer Jenna Victoria of Patrol Services, Fairfield Police Department.
My training and experience as a police officer has made me very aware of my surroundings. I would like to share some of my observations with you so we can work together to make our community even safer.
Being a patrol officer, I deal with a variety of situations involving vehicles: motor vehicle accidents, traffic stops, thefts from motor vehicles, road rage incidents, etc. Here are some tips I have for protecting yourself and your car:
Bumper stickers – Many people like to express themselves by putting bumper stickers on their vehicles. The ones I have seen the most lately are those little cartoon family stickers. When you take a moment to think about it, you realize just how much information those little stick figures are giving to people. Those little stickers show people how many people live in your house, how many kids you have, if you have any pets… some even show what sports or hobbies you have! Most people will see your stickers and not think twice about them, but think about how a criminal could.
The same goes for vanity plates. Much information can be obtained from your vanity license plate. I have seen plates with people’s last names and occupations. Imagine that you are a nurse and your vanity plate makes reference of that. Someone might run up to you as you eneter or exit your car yelling, “Help! Is there a doctor or a nurse around?” Your ears perk up because you think someone needs your help, but while you are distracted someone else steals your purse or even worse, steals your car! With road rage incidents, having your last name on your license plate can be a problem. It could potentially lead to someone looking you up in the phone book or online to make harassing or threatening phone calls.
To sum things up: limit the information you put out for the public to see (bumper stickers and vanity plates), keep valuables hidden, and keep your car doors locked, whether you are inside or outside of your vehicle. Don’t let yourself be an easy target! Together, we can make Fairfield safer!
Officer Jenna Victoria