resolve to avoid becoming a crime victim
If you are like me, you make resolutions every New Year's Day.
This year, I resolved to read more books, reduce my personal debt and improve my physical condition, vowing to get back to that svelte, pantherlike body that, well, perhaps I never had.
There is one more resolution that I will pursue this year — I will be vigilant with a few, simple prevention strategies to avoid becoming the victim of a crime.
I know that 8.4-million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2007. I know that the insurance industry pays an average of $7.6-billion for auto theft claims each year, and that one car is stolen every 28 seconds in the United States, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
So, I lock my doors and use antitheft devices on my personal vehicle.
I delete e-mails from strangers and practice cyber-safety to avoid "phishing" scams by crooks wanting to steal my personal information.
I shred personal documents, including those preapproved credit card applications that come in the mail, before throwing them in the trash, and I never give personal information to someone over the telephone.
I know my neighbors and their daily schedules, and we look out for one another.
We don't have the ability to eliminate a person's criminal intent, but we can reduce someone's opportunity to commit a crime by instilling basic prevention strategies into our daily routine.
We don't have to be rude, but we do have to be shrewd.
William Proffitt, St. Petersburg police spokesman