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Resolve to avoid becoming a crime victim

St. Petersburg

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

Resolve to avoid becoming a crime victim 01/03/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 9:04am]
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