PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Summer’s here and the time is right for a vacation. But just because you and your family may be taking a break doesn’t mean criminals do as well.

The Santa Monica Police Department wants to remind residents to keep their homes and personal property secured while getting some R and R.

“By taking a proactive approach, you can significantly reduce the risk of being victimized at home or while away,” police said in a community bulletin released Friday. “Follow the crime prevention tips listed below so you can focus on a fun and relaxing vacation”

Before leaving:

• Lock all windows and doors before you leave.  Set your alarm system, if you have one.

• Make your home appear “lived in.” Use variable timers for interior lights and radios.

• Close all curtains and blinds.

• Stop mail and newspaper delivery, or have a neighbor collect them for you.

• Ask a friend or neighbor to keep your lawns mowed and watered.

• Leave your trip plans, and an emergency phone number, with someone you trust.

• Make copies and a record of your passport(s), credit cards, and traveler’s checks. Give a copy of these documents to a family member or friend for safekeeping.

On the road:

• Never carry large amounts of cash — use traveler’s checks or credit cards.

• Keep careful tabs on your plane, train, or bus tickets — they’re as valuable as cash.

• Carry your purse close to your body — don’t let it dangle!

• Carry your wallet in an inside coat or front trouser pocket.

• Be aware of your surroundings — ask the hotel /motel staff about problem areas.

• Avoid advertising that you are a tourist by the way you dress.

• Select tour guides carefully.

• Make sure everyone in your party knows the name, address, and phone number of your hotel.

• If members of your group separate, be sure they check in at prearranged times and locations.

Remember, the only way to stop crime is to get involved in crime prevention, even when you are on vacation!

For more information regarding this and other crime prevention topics, contact the Community Relations Unit of the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8474.

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