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Crime Prevention Tips

Click on link below for related information

Protecting Your Home from Burglars
How to Have a Safe Vacation
Michigan Seat Belt Law
False Alarm Information
Crime Prevention Tips for the Disabled
Preventing Domestic Violence
Protect Your Car From Theft
Be a Responsible Citizen
Crime Prevention Tips for Seniors
Guide for Baby Sitters
Robbery Prevention
Operation Identification
Identity Fraud
Identity Theft



1. You may have committed a traffic violation.
2. You may fit the description of a suspect.
3. The officer might think you are in trouble and need help.
4. You may have witnessed a crime.


1.  A police officer may pull you over at any time for a traffic offense or police
2.  When you see the red overhead lights and/or hear the siren, remain calm and
     safely pull over parallel to the right side of the road.
3.  Remain in your vehicle unless the officer advises otherwise.
4.  Keep your hands on the steering wheel so the officer can see them.
5.  Avoid any sudden movements, especially toward the floorboard; rear seat
    or passenger side of the vehicle.
6.  Do not immediately reach for your license or other documents until the officer
     requests them. Michigan Law requires drivers to show their license, registration
     and insurance card upon request.
7.  If your documents are out of reach, tell the officer where they are before you reach
     for them.
8.  If the stop occurs during darkness put on your dome or interior lights so the officer
     can easily see that all is in order.
9.  If there are passengers in your vehicle, encourage them to remain quiet and
     cooperate with instructions. You as the operator are solely responsible for your
     vehicle and its occupants.
10. The officer may issue you a ticket. If you feel the reason is vague or unclear, ask
      the officer for the details.
11.  Avoid becoming argumentative. Arguing will not change the officer’s mind. If you
      contest the violation, you will have the opportunity to contest the matter in court.
12. Be honest with the officer. If you really didn’t see the stop sign, or are unaware of
      the speed limit, let the officer know. Being honest about any situation never hurts.
13. Many departments use one-officer patrol cars, especially in the suburbs.
      It would be normal to see two or three marked units on a routine traffic stop.
14. Finally, if you receive a ticket, accept it calmly. Accepting it is not an admission
      of guilt.


1.  Will provide his or her name upon request.
2.  A police officer who is not in uniform will present proper identification; you may
     request to examine their credentials so that you are satisfied that they are a
     law enforcement officer.
3.  Will inform a person of the reason for being stopped.
4.  Will only use the force necessary to affect the arrest of a suspect and to maintain
     the custody of a prisoner.
5.  Will not search the body of a person of the opposite sex except to prevent injury
     to the officer or another person, or to prevent the disposal or destruction of
     evidence, and
6.  Will only arrest a person for a crime committed in the officer’s presence, or when
     the officer has probable cause to believe the person has already committed
     the crime.
7.  If you have a question about procedures or a complaint about your treatment,
     contact the Department and ask to speak with a supervisor. You may also send
     a letter of compliment if you feel the officer was particularly helpful in your situation.

Back To Top

Protecting Your Home from Burglars

Outside Your Home

Protect your home by starting where the burglars usually start - outside.


Look around. Are large trees near the house? Prune lower limbs that could help a thief climb in second floor windows. Trim trees and bushes so a burglar cannot use them for cover. High wooden fences also allow a burglar to work unnoticed. Remember to lock up ladders and tools. Ask your neighbors to do the same. Trellises look great, but place them where they cannot be used as ladders to the second floor.


Criminals avoid the spotlight. Porches, yards, and all entrances to your home and garage should be well lit.

Your House Number:

Make sure law enforcement or fire agencies can locate your house in an emergency. Your house number should be clearly visible from the street day and night. Use numbers that are 6 inches high and made of reflective materials or black numerals against a white background. Avoid script numbers - they can be confusing. If your house is some distance from the road, post the number at the driveway entrance. If you live on a corner, make sure the number faces the street named in your address.


An easy, inexpensive way to secure double-hung windows is to use a nail. Drill an angled hole through the top frame of the lower window partially into the frame of the upper window. Then insert a nail or an eyebolt. The window cannot be opened until you remove the nail. Make a second set of holes with windows partially open so you can have ventilation without inviting intruders. For sliding windows, try the preventative tips suggested for sliding doors.


Hinged Doors
Entry doors should be solid core wood (at least 1 3/4 inches thick) or metal. Most hollow core doors can be easily broken through. They offer little protection, no matter what locks you use. Your door should fit its frame tightly - with no more than 1/8-inch clearance between the door and frame. If the gap is too large, replace the door. If that is too expensive, bolt a sturdy metal strip to the door edge. You boost your protection and save energy. Any hardware dealer can show you the kind of strip to use. Doors with decorative glass panels or windows are an easy mark. It takes only seconds to break the glass and unlock the door. If you do not want to replace the door, install a break-resistant plastic panel or decorative grill over the glass. Attach the grills with non-removable screws. Most door hinges are on the inside, safe from a burglar's tools. If hinges are on the outside, the hinge pins can be easily removed and the door taken out of the frame. To protect such doors, replace hinges with new ones with non-removable pins.
Sliding glass doors
Burglars look for sliding glass doors because they are easy to open. Several types of locks are made especially for these glass doors. The existing lock can be bolstered by placing a solid strip of wood in the track of the closed door. That helps block the door even if the lock is broken. Determined thieves may lift the door off its tracks. Use these preventative tips:

• Adjust rollers so the door cannot be pushed up enough to lift it off the
• Insert screws along the upper track of the door. Leave enough room
  for the door to slide, but not enough space to lift the door out.
• Drill a hole and insert a nail through the inside frame and part way
  through the metal door frame. You can remove the nail, but a burglar


Deadbolt Locks
A deadbolt lock can provide good protection. When you turn the key, the lock mechanism slides a strong metal bolt from the door into the frame. When you buy a deadbolt lock, make sure:

• The bolt extends at least 1 inch from the edge of the door
   (has a 1-inch thro).
• The connecting screws that hold the lock together are on the inside
   of the door.
• The strike plate is attached to the door frame with screws that
   measure at least 3 inches.
• The cylinder has a steel guard - a ring around the key section.
  The cylinder guard should be tapered or rotated around the key
  to prevent wrenching if twisted.

Double-Cylinder Deadbolt Locks
The Plymouth Township Police and Fire departments do not recommend Double-Cylinder Deadbolt locks for safety reasons. In case of an emergency, we want the resident to get out of the house quickly.
Padlocks are typically used for garages, sheds, and workshops. Look for a sturdy padlock that does not release the key until the padlock is locked. Be sure the padlock is case-hardened with a 3/8-inch shackle so it can resist bolt cutters. A double-locking design can prevent the shackle being pried away from its case. Remember that a padlock is only as good as the hasp on which it is mounted. The hasp should be secured with bolts that are concealed when the padlock is locked. All the hardware in the world will not protect you if you open your door without checking who is on the other side. Buy an inexpensive viewer. Tell your children and their babysitters not to open the door to strangers

Remember, always use your locks. Even a five-minute trip to the store is
long enough for a burglar to enter you home.


Victims report that as many as half of all burglaries take place without forced entry. In many cases, the burglar used a key. Be sure your keys do not fall into the wrong hands.

• Never carry identification tags on your key ring or holder.
• When you move into a new home have the locks re-keyed or changed.
   A locksmith can do this or, if you are handy with tools, you can change
   the lock yourself.
• Know who has every key to your home. Do not give keys to
  maintenance or delivery people.
• Do not hide your key outside. Burglars know all the hiding places.

Security Alarms:

If you desire additional security, you might consider a burglar alarm system. Be sure you deal with a reputable firm that provides approved systems.

Back To TopHow to Have a Safe Vacation

On The Road:

• Never carry large amounts of cash; use traveler’s checks. If you must carry
  large sums of money, do not display it openly.
• Keep a record of traveler’s checks and credit card numbers in a safe place.
  Have the telephone numbers to call in case your checks or credit cards are
  lost or stolen.
• Be aware of your surroundings and never advertise your plans, including travel
  routes and the amount of cash you are carrying.
• Do not stop to offer help to a stranded motorist. Go to the nearest telephone
  booth, and call for assistance.
• If you suspect someone is following you, drive to the nearest service station,
  restaurant, or business and call the police or sheriff’s department. If you believe
  it is unsafe to get out of your car, honk your horn and flash your lights to draw
• If your car breaks down, raise the hood and attach a white cloth to the car
  antenna as an emergency signal. Stay in your locked car; ask anyone who
  stops to call the police or a garage. If you must abandon your car, keep all
  passengers together.

Hotel and Motel Security:

When staying overnight at a hotel or motel, remember the following:

• Determine the most direct route to and from your room to the fire escapes,
  elevators, and nearest telephone.
• Use all auxiliary locking devices on door and windows. You may want to
  purchase a port-able door lock for traveling.
• Use the door viewer to identify anyone re-questing entry. Open the door only if
  you are certain the person has a legitimate reason to enter your room. If in
  doubt, call the office.
• Unpack and place belongings in the closet and dresser. Arrange your things so
  you will know if anything is missing.
• Consider locking any electrical appliances in your luggage. Suitcases should
  always be locked so they cannot be used to carry your property out of your
• Never leave money, checks, credit cards, or car keys in the room. Take them
  with you.
• Use the hotel/motel safe to store extra cash, expensive jewelry, or other
• Report any lost or stolen items to the management and to the police.
• Report to the management any suspicious movements in the corridors or rooms.

Car Security:

• Always lock your car.
• Always lock valuables out of sight, preferably in the trunk. Always carry wallets,
  checkbooks, and purses with you.
• Do not advertise that you are a tourist. Place maps and travel brochures in the
  glove compartment.
• Park in well-lit, busy areas.
• Check the back seat before getting into your car.
• Mark your car radio and other removable car equipment with your driver’s license
  number (by “CA” for identification.)


Remember: Planning reduces your chance of becoming the victim of a crime.

• Ask for directions at the hotel/motel to those attractions you want to visit.
• Select tour guides carefully.
• Ask if any areas in town should be avoided. Stick to well-lit main streets and
  public areas.
• Looking lost may make you look like an easy target for crime. If you do get lost,
  find an open business and ask for directions.
• Only carry with you the cash you will need, and carry only small denominations.
• If older children go off separately, be sure they understand the importance of
  keeping track of time and returning promptly at appointed hours.

When You Return Home:

If you suspect your home has been burglarized:

• Do not go in. Go to a neighbor’s, and call police immediately. Wait outside for
  them to arrive. Do not try to confront a burglar.
• After a burglary, do not touch anything. Call the police immediately - a delay can
  reduce the chances of catching the criminal.

At Home:

An empty house is a tempting target for a burglar. Use this checklist of tips to safeguard your home while you are gone.

• Have good locks on all doors and windows, and use them.
• Engrave your valuables with your driver’s license number (preceded by “MI”) or
  other identification number and post “Operation Identification” stickers in entry
  doors and windows.
• Never leave your house key hidden outside under a doormat, in a flower pot, or
  on the ledge of a door.
• Tell your police department you plan to be away. Patrol officers may be able to
  check your home periodically. Call 354-3232 and request a
  Vacation Check form.
• Stop all deliveries, or arrange for someone to pick up your mail, newspapers, and
• Arrange for someone to mow your lawn or rake leaves to give your home a
  lived-in look.
• Use timers to turn lights and a radio on and off at appropriate times.
• Hide garbage cans in the basement of a storage shed. Empty cans when
  everyone else’s is full can tell a burglar you are away.
• Turn the bell on your telephone down low so a burglar will not be alerted to your
  absence by its ringing.
• Close and lock garage doors and windows. Ask a neighbor to park occasionally
  in your driveway. If you leave your car at home, park it in the driveway rather than
  the garage. Have your neighbor move it occasionally so it looks like you are
  using it.
• Leave your blinds, shades, and curtains in a normal position. Do not close them
  unless that is what you do when you are at home.
• Ask a neighbor to watch the house while you are away. Leave your vacation
  address and telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case
  of emergency.

Back To TopMichigan Seat Belt Law

 Revised January 2002 
 Michigan’s Safety Belt Law
Enforcement Guide
Public Act No. 29 of 1999
Effective March 10, 2000 
0 Point Civil Infraction  
 Restraint Use Requirements
Age  Restraint  Section
0-3 All passengers shall be properly
secured in approved
Child Restraint System*
Driver responsible
4-15 All passengers shall wear a
properly adjusted and
fastened safety belt**
Driver responsible
16 years and older Driver and front seat
passengers shall wear a
properly adjusted and
fastened safety belt**
Driver responsible
*In compliance with CFR 49 section 571.213
**In compliance with CFR 49 section 571.208 and 571.209 

Back To TopFalse Alarm Information

You Can Help!

Fact: 93% of all false alarms are caused by human error.

Help stop False Alarms

“False Alarms are defined in the Township as any alarm condition which is registered at the Police Department, Fire Department or elsewhere, not resulting from the activity for which the alarm was intended”.

The Most Common Causes of False Alarms:

• System Users
• Physical changes to Facility
• Displays and Decorations
• Malfunctioning equipment
• Heat Vents
• Air Conditioning Vents
• Fan (ceiling and table)
• Small Animals

REMEMBER: Storms and Bad Weather should not activate your alarm.


• Make sure all users have proper knowledge of codes and operations of the alarm.
  Know how to disarm the alarm.
• If the system was installed for a certain type of facility and remodeling occurs,
  the alarm should be inspected for suitability to the changes that have been made.
• Carefully arrange all decorations, banners and displays. Floating balloons can
  interfere with the motion detectors and activate alarms.
• Replace main battery to meet manufactures specifications.
• Faulty Equipment - If you cannot identify the cause of the activation – contact your
  alarm company to have motion detectors checked along with basic equipment.
• Heat rises and can cause enough motion to activate alarms, as can air conditioning
• Motion detectors easily detect small animals, (birds, cats, rodents, etc.) Use
  caution against their entering the premises.
• Schedule routine system maintenance and checks by the Alarm Company.
• Alarmed areas must be protected from access. Security systems must not be
  the only barrier - all alarmed doors should have secure locks.

False Alarm Procedure:

1. Turn off alarm
2. Call the alarm company and provide pass code
3. Contact Plymouth Township Police Dispatch and report the false alarm
    at 354-3232

The Residential Burglar Alarm System
A residential burglar alarm system should be simple to operate and designed to fit in with the lifestyle of the family it is protecting. Otherwise, the alarm system will cause false alarms and the family will soon stop using it.

Commercial Burglar Alarm System
Burglary protection for commercial risks should consist of a combination of physical security and burglar alarm protection is to detect the intrusion in the event the physical security fails.


1. Before leaving, check that all exterior doors are closed and locked.
2. Before leaving, check that all motion sensor areas are clear of moving
    signs, displays, reflective/helium balloons, etc.
3. Know how to cancel a false alarm quickly.
4. All personnel should be periodically trained in proper alarm operating
    procedures and false alarm prevention.
5. Report any arming or disarming problems to your alarm company

Back To TopCrime Prevention Tips for the Disabled

Disabled persons face many physical challenges which can make them vulnerable to would-be assailants who assume the disabled are incapable of protecting themselves.

If you are disabled person or know someone who is, the following information may be helpful. Take your time to read and remember these tips. You may be able to prevent yourself or a friend from becoming a victim of a crime.

General Crime Prevention Tips

• Know and avoid situations and locations that could invite crime, such as dark alleys,
  unlit parking lots, etc.
• Decide what you plan to do in the event you are confronted - i.e., show confidence;
  scream, etc.
• Consider your options in these situations and practice your responses often so that
  you can recall them in a real situation.

Home Security Tips

• Consider having a peephole installed in your doors. Make sure you have the proper
  locks on doors and windows and use them while you are at home as well as when
  you are out.
• Never open the door for a stranger. Always demand verification of the stranger's
  identity and the purpose of the visit.
• Never tell a stranger calling by phone that you are alone or that you are disabled.
• Plan an avenue of escape from each room in your residence in case of emergency,
  such as a break-in or a disaster.

Consumer Protection Tips

• Always ask for identification from all door-to-door solicitors, and call their agency for
• Don't commit yourself to purchases or charitable donations over the phone. Ask the
  caller to mail the information to you so you can make an informed decision. If you
  are not familiar with the company or organization, consult the State Department of
  Consumer affairs or the Better Business Bureau.
• Be sure to read and understand all contracts before you sign them. If your sight is
  impaired, have someone you trust read the entire document.
• Beware of anyone who is offering products or services at a "once in a lifetime" offer.
• Consider having your checks mailed directly to your bank to avoid mail theft or

Travel Safety

• Whenever possible, travel with someone you know. There is safety in numbers.
• Leave word of your plans - including your ultimate destination and estimated time of
  return - with family or friends.
• When waiting for a bus, train, etc., wait in a centralized location near other
• When riding the bus, sit as near to the driver as possible, particularly during late
• Keep your handbags and packages on your lap instead of the floor or the seat next
  to you.
• Consider using traveler’s checks instead of carrying cash.
• Be aware of those around you, particularly when exiting a bus or train.
• If you have a speech or hearing impairment, always carry a card of communication

If You Become a Victim of a Crime....

• Get help immediately by calling:

o The Police Department
o A doctor
o The Fire Department
o The sheriff's department
o A friend
o A relative

• Try to remember as many details about the assailant as possible, such as clothing,
  hair color, identifiable marks, etc.
• Be certain not to destroy any possible evidence.

Back To TopPreventing Domestic Violence

In an emergency, DIAL 911 ...

• A woman is battered in the United States every 15 seconds. Domestic violence
  can strike any household.
• One-third of the homicides in this country are domestic violence-related. Domestic
   violence can be fatal.
• National statistics indicate that as many as 50% of all women in America
  experience violence in their intimate relationships. Domestic violence is a fact.
• Besides beatings, battering can involve threats of violence, verbal abuse and/or
  sexual assault. Domestic violence is not something anyone enjoys, asks for,
  or deserves.
• Victims of domestic violence often feel isolated, powerless, fearful, guilty, and
  dependent financially and/or physically. Domestic violence can leave victims feeling
  trapped and unable to help themselves.
• Children who learn violence at home are at risk to continue the violence in their own
  relationships as adults, either as batterers or as victims. Domestic violence can
  have long-term effects on children.
• Spousal abuse in Michigan is a crime and the batterer can be sent to prison.
  Domestic violence is intolerable and must stop.

Domestic violence centers can help victims

• If you are battered, your local domestic violence program can provide you and your
  children with emergency shelter and services.
• In addition to finding a safe place, you may want to call your local law enforcement
  agency to report the batterer.
• Obtain medical help if you are injured.
• File a temporary restraining order against the batterer.
• Counselors with your local domestic violence program can help you understand
  your rights and help you determine the options most appropriate for you.

Domestic violence restraining orders/Personal Protection Order

A petition must be filed at the Coleman A. Young building (formerly known as the City-County Bldg.) or circuit court in the county where you live. If you are filing at the Coleman A, Young building, go to the second floor, room 928. To obtain court-ordered relief of the following situations:

• An order restraining the attacker from abusing the victim or other family members.
• An order directing the attacker to leave the household.
• An order preventing the attacker from entering the residence, school, business, or
  place of employment of the victim.
• An order awarding custody or visitations with a minor child or children.
• An order restraining the attacker from molesting or interfering with minor children in
  the custody of the victim.
• An order directing payment of child support for minor children.
• An order directing either or both parties to participate in counseling.

What is a personal protection order?

A personal protection order (PPO) is an order issued by the court. In situations where there is a domestic relationship it can protect you from harassment, assault, beating, molesting, wounding, or stalking by another person. The order can also prohibit him/her from entering your premises and from removing minor children unless the removal is part of a court parenting time order.
A domestic relationship includes a spouse or former spouse, a person with whom you have a child, or a person with whom you have or had a dating relationship.

For immediate assistance with or information about a domestic violence situation, contact, The Family Violence Hotline: 1-800-996-6228

For criminal prosecution

• The Plymouth Township Police Department will process all criminal reports
   through the 35th District Court for prosecution.
• The case number of the Plymouth Township Police Department report documenting
   the crime may be obtained from the police. Please retain this number as it may be
   helpful to you and personnel at the Victim-Witness Assistance Program Office as
   you process your application for assistance.

Hotline Numbers

• Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228
• First Step – Domestic Violence info/shelter: 734-459-5900
• Counseling – Lifespan Clinical Services 1-888-355-LIFE

Back To TopProtect Your Car from Theft

A car is stolen nationally every 20 seconds, which adds up to more than a million stolen each year. Twenty percent of all auto thefts are a result of either keys being left in the car and unlocked doors. Facts indicate that professional car thieves have entered the field in increasing numbers; however, most cars are still taken by amateurs who can be stopped fairly easily.

The owner or authorized driver of a car should not leave the vehicle unattended without locking the ignition and removing the key. Keys should be carefully guarded. If the keys have punch-out numbers, these should be removed and kept at home for reference in case of loss.

You can greatly increase your protection against auto theft crime by taking the following precautions.

• Park in a well-lit area.
• Close all windows; lock all doors.
• Activate any theft deterrent device you may have.
• Put packages or valuables out of sight. Purses, cash, DVD players and other
  expensive items in full view invite theft.
• If you park in a commercial lot or garage, leave only the ignition key with the
• If you have a garage, use it. Lock both the vehicle and the garage.
• Never hide spare keys under the seat, in the glove compartment, or in the sun visor.
• If you are selling your vehicle, never let the prospective buyer test drive the vehicle
  without you in it.
• Carry a record of your license plate and vehicle identification number in your wallet.
  Do not keep your registration in the vehicle. Keep it in your purse or wallet.
• The more time consuming an auto theft is, the more likely the thief will become
  discouraged and seek an easier target.
• If you drive a truck, install a lockbox with a case hardened padlock in the bed.

Auto theft security devices

In order to secure your car, several devices may be installed to deter or prevent theft of the car or any of its parts or contents. Anti-theft devices, expensive or not, are only going to deter the inexperienced thief.

Wheel Locks:

This device replaces one lug nut on each tire and is key-operated. (Hub caps: special locking devices are available for certain hub caps such as the spoked hub, etc.)

Guard Plate:

Install a guard plate over the trunk lock with carriage bolts to protect the trunk cylinder.

Trunk Lock:

 As an auxiliary or secondary locking device, a heavy duty chain lock may be installed inside the trunk and is key-operated.

Ignition Cut-Off (kill switch):

A key-operated or hidden manual switch that interrupts the power supply from the battery to the ignition.

Fuel Cut-Off:

Integrated into the fuel line, this device prevents the flow of gasoline once the fuel in the gas line is used. Only a special key deactivates the cut-off.

Door Locks:

Visible inside door lock buttons should be smooth and tapered.

Hood Lock:

A secondary hood lock should be installed to prevent access to the power source, battery or siren for an alarm system. A key-operated bolt, which is accessible from inside the car, or a chain and padlock accessible from the outside, should be installed.

Steering Wheel Lock:

Placed on steering wheel, stopping wheel from being turned.

Locking Fuel Cap:

Install a locking fuel cap to limit a car thief to just one tank of fuel. It won't prevent your car from being taken, but it may mean that it will be abandoned sooner. There are several alarm systems that will serve to deter or discourage the car thief and alert others of forced entry into the car. However, your anti-theft devices are primarily a deterrent to the amateur thief. An experienced thief will not be deterred by any anti-theft device.


The sounding device, used in lieu of the horn, is installed in the engine compartment and should have an audible range of at least 300 feet.

Pin Switches:

Plunger-type switches that are installed on the doors, hood and trunk, which, when released to their furthest extension, activate the siren.

Glass Protection:

A sensing device is available that discriminates the sound of breaking glass and can be used in conjunction with switches for overall alarm protection

Voltage Sensing Device:

This device is attached to the wiring of the vehicle and triggers the alarm when a drain of power is detected, such as from an interior, hood or trunk light.

Motion-Sensing Device:

Sends out sound waves above human hearing and is activated by any disturbance in the sound wave pattern. (Note: This alarm can and has been activated by vibrations of passing vehicles.)

Mercury or Tilt Switch:

Placed in the car, this device detects any motion of the car. (Note: Cannot be used when parked on a hill, slope or other than flat ground.)

Switch Lock:

A key-operated electrical switch which turns the alarm system on and off. If placed on the outside of the vehicle, it should be in an inaccessible location. A visible switch is an indication that the car is alarmed and may deter a thief.

RV and trailer protection

• RVs are particularly susceptible to theft since they are usually loaded with items
  such as cameras, radios, tires, and sports equipment.
• The most common site for RV thefts is in the owner's driveway or backyard.
• Cover tempting items such as cameras, TV’s, radios and binoculars.
• Leave a low-voltage light burning and a radio on when you leave the RV at night.
• Pull curtains and blinds shut tight.
• Be sure to install good deadbolts and window locks.
• If your RV is normally left unattended, loop a case hardened steel chain around the
  RV's axle and a stationary object.
• Do not forget to secure the trailer's hitch.

If your car alarm should go off:

• Observe behavior around your car
• Take description and license plate numbers
• Call 911
• DO NOT TAKE ACTION. Your safety is our main concern

Back To TopBe a Responsible Citizen

 Here are a few things you should think about:

• Do you know all your neighbors?
• Do you watch your neighbors' homes when they are away?
• Do your neighbors watch your home when you are away?
• Do you and your neighbors work together on neighborhood problems?
• If you hear or see something suspicious, do you call the police?
• Is your active involvement in your neighborhood and community important to you?
• Do you talk to the youth in your neighborhood?
• When you see youngsters misbehaving, do you correct them?
• Do you accept complaints about your children?
• Do you know as much about your neighborhood and community as you know
  about national problems?

Back To TopCrime Prevention for Seniors

When You Are Out

• If you must carry a purse, hold it close to your body. Do not dangle it.
• Never carry a wallet in your back pocket. Put it in an inside jacket pocket or
  front pants pocket.
• Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to return.
• Avoid dark, deserted routes even if they are the shortest.
• Carry change for emergency telephone and transportation use.
• Whenever possible, travel with friends. Check with your senior citizen center about
  escort services or the police.
• When using public transportation, sit near the driver.
• Do not overburden yourself with packages and groceries that obstruct your view
  and make it hard to react.
• Have your car or house key in hand as you approach your vehicle or home.
• Carry a whistle or freon horn to use if you need to summon help.
• When you drive, keep doors locked and windows up. Park in well-lit, busy areas.
   If you have car trouble, be wary of strangers who offer help. Stay in your car an
   ask them to call a service truck or the police.
• If a friend or taxi takes you home, ask the driver to wait until you are safely inside.
• When walking, act calm, confident, and know where you are going. Trust your
   instincts: If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave.

When You Are At Home

• Use deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. Keep your doors locked at all times,
  even when you are inside.
• Protect windows and sliding glass doors with good locks or other security devices.
• Make your home appear occupied when you go out by using a timer to turn on
  lights and a radio.
• Never let repair or sales persons into your home without checking their identification.
  Call their company to verify their identity if you are not sure.
• Install a viewer in your door, and use it.
• If you live alone, do not advertise it. Use only your first and middle initials in
  telephone books, directories, and apartment lobbies.
• Get to know your neighbors, and keep their telephone numbers handy for
• Work out a buddy system with a friend to check on each other daily.
• Engrave your valuables with a unique identification number recommended by the
  police. Check with local senior citizen centers for available services.
• Keep bonds, stock certificates, seldom-worn jewelry, and stamp and coin
  collections in a safe deposit box.
• Do not hide extra house keys under a doormat or in other obvious spots

Protect Your Money

• If you receive checks in the mail regularly, arrange for them to be sent directly
  to the bank.
• Avoid carrying large sums of money. If you must carry a large sum, have a friend
  accompany you.
• Do not display large amounts of cash.
• Do not sign a check or contract until you are sure it is for a legitimate reason.
  Know the details. If in doubt, check with a friend, a lawyer, or the police.
• Never put your purse or wallet on a counter while you examine merchandise in a

What If You Are Assaulted?

• If the attacker is only after your purse or other valuables, do not resist. Your life and
  safety are worth more than your possessions.
• Make a conscious effort to get an accurate description of the attacker and call the
• Start a crime prevention program in your building or neighborhood. Turn your
  tragedy into a helping experience for others.

Don’t Be Conned

• According to the American Association of Retired Persons, older citizens are victims
  of fraudulent schemes far out of proportion to their population number. Keep informed
  about the latest con schemes in your community by reading the newspaper.
  Be skeptical about any proposal that sounds too good to be true or has to be kept
  secret. Do not rush into anything. Check it out with friends, lawyers, police, the
  Better Business Bureau, or the state or county consumer affairs department.
• If you are the victim of fraud, call the police immediately. You may be embarrassed
  because you were tricked, but your information is vital in catching the con artist
  and preventing others from being victimized.

Back To TopGuide for Babysitters

Caring for young children is one of the biggest responsibilities you'll ever have. You must be able to protect yourself as well as the children.

 Getting the Job

• Know your employer. Baby-sit only for people you or your parents know, or for
   whom you have a personal reference. Answering newspaper ads may not be safe.
• Be sure to find out from your employers what time they expect to be back. Be sure
  they know how much you charge and when you must be home.
• Leave the name, address and telephone number of where you'll be babysitting with
  your parents, and tell them what time your employers expect to be home.

 On the Job

• Before your employers leave, fill out the babysitter’s safety checklist at the end of
  this material. Do this for every job you take. Keep the form and a pencil and paper
  near the telephone.
• Have your employers do a safety check with you throughout their home. Find out
  if their home has emergency exits, a smoke alarm, or a fire extinguisher.
• Know how to work the door and window locks in the home, and use them.
  Leave at least one outside light on.
• If the telephone rings while you're babysitting, don't tell the caller that you're alone.
  Say you're visiting and the residents can't come to the telephone, but you'll give
  them a message. If the caller persists or gets rude, just hang up.
• Don't open the door to strangers, and don't tell anyone who comes to the door that
  you're there alone. Again, say you're visiting and will deliver a message.
• The same rules apply to daytime as well as night babysitting, with a few additions:

o During the day you might have the children out in the yard. If you're in back,
   make sure the front door is locked - and vice versa.
o If you take the children out to the park or anywhere else, make sure you have
   the house key with you when you leave. Double-check to be certain all doors
   and windows are locked before leaving.
o Have the children go to the bathroom before you leave to help avoid having to
   use public restrooms.
o When you are out with the children, don't talk to strangers. If you suspect
   you're being followed at any time, go to a nearby home, store, or gas station
   and call the police.
o When you get back to the children's home, if anything seems unusual - a
   broken window, an open door, a strange car parked outside - don't go in.
   Go to a neighbor's, and call the police.

 • If at any time while you are babysitting, you are uneasy or suspicious about
   anything, don't hesitate to call the police.

In an Emergency

• If you suspect a fire, get the children and yourself outside. Go to a neighbor's house
  and call the fire department.
• If you've been able to take the safety checklist with you, call your employer and let
  them know where you and the children are.
• In any kind of emergency, stay calm. The most important thing to remember is that
  young children won't panic if you don't.

When the Job's Over

• When your employers return home, report on what happened, especially if you
  considered anything unusual.
• Call home to let someone know you're on your way.
• Be sure you have an escort home; this should be one of the conditions under which
  you accept any babysitting job.
• If, for some reason, your employers won't drive or walk you home - or seem
  intoxicated - ask someone at your home to come and get you.

Babysitting Safety Checklist

Address and Phone:
Where Parents Will Be:
Cellular Phone Number:
Emergency Neighbor Contact:
Child(ren)'s Doctor & Phone Number:
Night Light?
Special Instructions or Routines to Follow:
Police or Fire Emergency Phone Number: 911
Poison Control Center:

Back To TopRobbery Prevention

Robbery is a crime "against a person," and is a frightening experience. It can result in injury or even death to the victim. When protecting your business from robbery, it is important to remember to take preventive measures and make it obvious that those measures have been taken.

Here are some ways to discourage robbery:

• Lock unused doors.
• Avoid working alone. If you must, turn on a hidden radio or TV so robbers will think
  there's someone with you.
• Vary the schedule and route for your bank deposits so a robber never knows when
  or where to expect you. Make several deposits each day, and keep only necessary
  cash in the cash drawer. Then, if you are robbed, you'll cut your losses.
• Make sure your cash register is clearly visible to passersby.
• Arrange the counter so that the customer - or robber - is visible from the street.
• Avoid placing signs or displays near windows which block visibility from the street.
• Record the serial number of the bottom bill in each bin of the cash drawer, and
  instruct employees not to use these bills in making change.
• Keep "bait" money in a spare compartment of cash registers. The bait packet should
  be separated by face value as other bills. Keep a list of the serial and series year
  numbers to give to law enforcement officials if you're robbed.
• If your business runs an exceptionally high risk of robbery, you may want to invest
  in a bulletproof cashier screen. A screen "defuses" the robber's threat, but other
  prevention measures may be equally effective at lower cost.
• Display signs at entrances and exits indicating that safes require secondary keys
  not in the possession of employees.
• Advertise your security alarm system with signs in visible locations.
• Develop a mutual aid system among stores on your block. Agree to keep an eye
  on each others' buildings and watch for any suspicious activities.
• Place colored tape markers at exits at heights of 5-feet-6 and 6 feet. Then, if you
  are robbed, you can get an accurate estimate of the suspect's height as he leaves.
• A robbery may be over in less than a minute. You need a quick eye to get a good
  look at the robber. That's why many stores place hidden cameras behind cash

If a robbery happens

• Someone points a gun at you and demands your money. What do you do?
  Give it to him. Never refuse a robber.
• If you have a silent alarm and can reach it unnoticed, use it. Otherwise, wait until
  the robber leaves. (Use your alarm with care. Excessive false alarms can cause
  problems for law enforcement and for you.)
• If possible, signal other employees. Have a pre-arranged signal for such
  emergencies.   Again, if the robber will see you, wait. Try to avoid sudden moves.
  Many robbers are  just as nervous as you.

The most important thing to do if you're robbed is to observe - be a good witness.

• The description of a suspect you give to the police may be the only information they
  have to go on.
• A vehicle description and license number of the suspect vehicle is of tremendous
  value to the police; however, do not endanger yourself to acquire this information.

After the robbery

• Call police immediately - don't waste a minute.
• Write down everything you can remember about the robber and the crime itself.
  Note the robber's appearance height, weight, color of hair and eyes, scars, tattoos,
  accent, anything unusual, and as much as possible about his clothing, weapon and
  mannerisms. Try to remember the robber's exact words, and try to observe any
  vehicle the robber uses to get away.
• Keep everyone away from surfaces the robber may have touched.
• Cooperate fully with law enforcement and prosecutors. Your help is crucial,
  so stick with the case.

Back To TopOperation Identification

What is Operation Identification?

Operation Identification is a citizen’s burglary prevention program for use in homes and businesses. Operation ID program involves the marking of property with an identifying number as a means of discouraging burglary and theft.

The Operation ID program has two parts.

• First: Mark your valuables with your Drivers License Number so that your property
  can be traced and identified as yours.
• Second: Display a sticker which tells would-be burglars that your property has been

What makes Operation Identification so effective?

Marked property is difficult for a burglar to dispose of or re-sell. It can be traced to the rightful owner with relative ease. If the burglar is caught with marked property, it is solid evidence of possession of stolen goods.

How to Participate

To participate in Operation Identification call the Plymouth Township Police Department and ask about borrowing an electric engraving tool. It can be picked up by contacting Officer Jamie Senkbeil at 734-354-3243. There is no charge to use the engraver, however it must be returned within forty eight hours. If an engraver in not available, they can be bought at any hardware store at very little expense.

When marking your valuables, always use your Drivers License Number; never use your Social Security Number. Also, always use your two letter state identifier along with your license number. Notice there is no gaps or spaces in the number shown.


As you mark your items, always engrave the number on an area that cannot be easily dismantled, and which is not easily seen.

After marking your property, make a list of your valuables and keep a copy of the list in a safe place. If you should subsequently become a burglary victim, you will be able to quickly describe the stolen property from the list. Of course some items can not be marked and we suggest a photograph or video of the items. This will be of great help to the police department in our attempts to recover the stolen property.

Once property has been marked and a list made, display an Operation Identification sticker on a window which might be used for entry. By advertising your participation in “Operation ID” in this way, you are announcing that your valuable property has been marked and will be difficult for a burglar to re-sell. Often the presence of the sticker alone is enough to deter a burglar.

Back To TopIdentity Fraud

Protecting Yourself Against Fraud

As a fraud victim, you have a strong motivation to avoid being defrauded again. The following recommendations may help. Remember, of course, that not every organization that calls you or sends you mail is involved in fraud-most are not. Still, if you encounter any of the techniques described below, use caution before buying, investing, or making donations.

Avoid Identity Fraud

• Never provide personal or financial information, such as your social
  security number, mother's maiden name, savings or checking
  account numbers, or credit card numbers or expiration dates, to a
  person or agency with whom you are not familiar, especially over the
  telephone or internet.
• Don't imprint your social security number or driver’s license number on
• Remove mail from your mailbox as soon as possible. Also, it’s better
  not to place mail in your mailbox for postal pickup-take it directly to
  the post office.

Review Financial Dealings

• Investigate all referrals from family, friends, or acquaintances
  concerning financial investments or purchases, especially if you are
  unfamiliar with the vendor.
• Carefully document all transactions related to you finances or
  business, including dates and the names of individuals you dealt with.
• Never send money orders or checks to a post office box unless you
  are sure of the recipient. When in doubt, contact you local better
  business or consumer protection agency.
• Be wary of ads claiming that bad credit is no obstacle to obtaining a
  car loan, secured credit cards, or other service. Many businesses
  that market to people with bad credit charge exorbitant interest rates
  or require an advance fee to apply for credit that may not be available.
  Check with your better business bureau or consumer protection
  agency first.
• Be cautious of lenders who use 800 or 900 numbers. You may call an
  800 number only to be directed to a 900 number, which you pay to
  use, allowing the vendor to profit from the call while giving you little or
  nothing in return.
• Be wary of individuals or companies that require you to send
  contracts, payments, or other items though non-postal delivery
  systems, such as overnight couriers. Many fraudulent companies and
  individuals use such delivery systems to avoid detection and
  prosecution by the U.S. Postal Service.
• For personal services and repairs, always obtain several estimates
  and compare costs. Don't sign any contract you don't fully
  understand, and don't advance any money for services or repairs until
  you have thoroughly investigated the individual or company.
• Before buying any product or service, find out the company's refund
  and cancellation policies.

Promotional Material

• When in doubt, ask for information in writing. If they don't supply it,
  don't buy.
• Beware of checks form small amounts that are mailed as prizes.
  Often, if you cash them, you will authorize a charge for services or
  items you did not want.
• Be suspicious of all mail, phone, or computer promotions that require
  you to act quickly to receive goods or services.

Back To TopIdentity Theft

What Are Identity Theft and Identity Fraud?

The short answer is that identity theft is a crime. Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.

What Are The Most Common Ways To Commit Identity Theft Or Fraud?

Many people do not realize how easily criminals can obtain our personal data without having to break into our homes.

• In public places, for example, criminals may engage in "shoulder surfing" watching
  you from a nearby location as you punch in your telephone calling card number or
  listening in on your conversation if you give your credit card number over the
  telephone to a hotel or rental car company.
• Even the area near your home or office may not be secure. Some criminals engage
  in "dumpster diving" going through your garbage cans or a communal dumpster or
  trash bin-to obtain copies of your checks, credit card or bank statements, or other
  records that typically bear you name, address, and even your telephone numbers.
• In recent years, the internet has become an appealing place for criminals to obtain
  identifying data, such as passwords or even banking information. In their haste to
  explore the exciting features of the internet, many people respond to "spam"
  unsolicited E-mail that promises them some benefit but requests identifying data,
  without realizing that in many cases, the requester has no intention of keeping his

With enough identifying information about an individual, a criminal can take over that individual's identity to conduct a wide range of crimes: for example, false applications for loans and credit cards, fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts, fraudulent use of telephone calling cards, or obtaining other goods or privileges which the criminal might be denied if he were to use his real name.

What Can I Do About Identity Theft And Fraud?

To victims of identity theft and fraud, the task of correcting incorrect information about their financial or personal status, and trying to restore their good names and reputations, may seem as daunting as trying to solve a puzzle in which some of the pieces are missing and other pieces no longer fit as they once did. Unfortunately, the damage that criminals do in stealing another person's identity and using it to commit fraud often takes far longer to undo than it took the criminal to commit the crimes.

What Should I Do If I've become A Victim of Identity Theft?

If you think you've become a victim of identity theft or fraud, act immediately to minimize the damage to your personal funds and financial accounts, as well as your reputation. Here is a list-based in part on a checklist prepared by the California public Interest Research Group and the Privacy Right Clearinghouse of some actions that you should take right away.

1. Contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the situation,
    whether-Online, by telephone toll free at 1-877- 438-4338 or TDD at
    202-326-2502, or by mail to Consumer Response Center, FTC, 600
    Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20580
2. Contact your local office of the Postal Inspection Service if you
    suspect that an identity thief has submitted a change-of -address
    form with the post Office to redirect your mail, or has used the mail
    to commit frauds involving your identity.
3. Contact the Social Security Administration if you suspect that your
    Social Security number is being fraudulently used (call 800-269-0271
    to report a fraud)
4. The Internal Revenue Service if you suspect the improper use of
    identification information in connection with tax violations (call
    1-800-829-0433 to report the violations).
5. Other Internet Resources:

a. Internet Fraud Compliant Center:
b. National White Collar Crime Center:

Call the Fraud units of the three principal credit reporting companies:

1. Equifax:
    To report fraud, call (800) 525-6285 or write to P.O. Box 740250,
    Atlanta, GA 30374-0250
2. Experian (formally TRW)
    To report fraud, call (888) 397-3742, fax to (800) 301-7196 or write to
    P.O. box 1017, Allen, TX 75013
3. Trans Union
    To report fraud, call (800) 680-7289 or write to P.O. box 6790.
    Fullerton, CA 92634

To Report The Fraudulent Use Of Your Checks

Contact the major check verification companies if you have had checks stolen or bank accounts set up by an identity thief. In particular, if you know that a particular merchant has received a check stolen from you, contact the verification company that the merchant uses:

1. CheckRite -- (800)766-2748
2. ChexSystem-(800)428-9623 (closed checking accounts)
3. CrossCheck-(800)552-1900
4. Equifax-(800)437-5120
5. National Processing Co. - (800)526-5380