Don’t Be Left Out in the Cold

Relay-car-theft-keyless-entry-cars-885216With the mornings getting colder the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind drivers not to leave their cars running and unattended.  Not only does this create a perfect opportunity for someone to steal your vehicle, but in most cases it is illegal.

There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of losing your vehicle or belongings to an opportunistic thief:

  • STAY WITH THE CAR. It’s better to be cold for a few minutes in your car while it warms up than to be left in the cold while the thief drives it away.
  • LOCK THE DOORS. If unattended this will decrease the opportunity for the criminal to strike.
  • TAKE YOUR KEYS.  Don’t hide your keys on or in the vehicle, thieves know where to look.
  • HIDE YOUR BELONGINGS.  If leaving property in the vehicle this will also help reduce the risk of a burglary or vehicle theft.
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Don’t Let a Grinch Steal Your Christmas

tlhWith the increase in Holiday shopping the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind people that one of the best ways to help prevent from becoming a victim of vehicle burglary is to simply lock your vehicles.

Lock, Take, Hide. The basic crime fighting tool to help reduce vehicle burglaries.

  • Lock your vehicle. It takes seconds to break a window, but doing so makes noise – and criminals hate making noise.
  • Take your keys and other valuables with you when you leave your vehicle.
  • Hide valuables from sight, or take items with you. If a criminal doesn’t see anything, they’re less likely to break in, and will move on.
  • Park in areas that are not secluded. Well lit parking lots, with good “sight lines”, make it more likely your vehicle is visible to the general public.
  • Aftermarket car stereos; consider models with removable face plates. Take the face plate with you when your leave your vehicle.
  • Record serial numbers of property you may leave inside your vehicle. If stolen, it makes it more likely the suspect, if he tries to pawn, will be identified.

There is no 100% fool-proof way to prevent all crime. You can make yourself less likely to be a victim of a burglary. Simply locking your vehicle and removing property from inside is half the battle.

Happy Thanksgiving from the WFPD

ThanksgivingThe Wichita Falls Police Department would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving and to remind everyone of a few safety tips to help make this time more enjoyable.

If you are traveling:

  • Please give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
  • Do not drive tired.  If you become drowsy, find a safe place to stop and take a break.
  • Always, wear your safety belt.
  • Be prepared to slow down.  The road conditions can quickly change due to weather or traffic congestion.

If you are shopping:

  • Always, be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Lock your car; Take your keys; Hide your belongings.
  • If you are shopping at night, try to park in well-lighted areas.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Keep a record of all your credit card numbers and contact your credit card company immediately if one is stolen.

At home:

  • If you are going to be gone for an extended period of time have a neighbor collect your mail.
  • Have various inside lights on multiple timers.
  • Ensure that all your doors and windows are locked and secured.
  • If someone knocks at your door that you do not know you Do Not have to answer it.

These are just a few simple crime prevention techniques that can help ensure that everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.

‘Tis the Season for Package Theft

holiday-package-theft-jpgBelieve it or not, but it is that time of the year again when many people have packages sent to their residence in preparation for the upcoming holiday season. The Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind everyone of a few simple precautions that you can take to keep from becoming a victim of theft.

If you have ever ordered clothing, jewelry, gifts, or any other merchandise by phone, computer, or mail chances are those items were delivered straight to your home. Most deliveries DO NOT require a signature and are generally left at your front door even if no one is home to accept them. These packages, which quickly catch the eye of potential thieves, offer criminals that “Crime of Opportunity” they are looking for. Thieves looking to steal your packages will follow or watch for UPS, Fed Ex, US Mail, and other delivery service trucks so they can target your home after the parcels are delivered.

Below are some “Package Theft Prevention Tips” for you to use which will help reduce your chances of becoming a victim of this crime.

If Possible:

  • Ask for a tracking number. Most major shipping companies offer this service at no charge. This number allows you to track your packages and notifies you when they will be delivered.
  • Request a “Signature Delivery Option”. This requires a signature when the packages are delivered and ensures they will not be left at the front door
  • Request a specific drop off time and date when you will be home to accept your packages
  • Arrange to have your packages held at the shipping service so you can pick them up
  • Ask the delivery service to leave your packages at a side or back door. An enclosed porch where packages are out of sight is also a good option
  • Have your packages delivered to the home of a relative or neighbor who will be there to accept them
  • Ask a trustworthy neighbor to keep a “Watchful Eye” out for you packages. If they’re willing, ask them to safeguard your packages until you return home
  • If your packages do not arrive as scheduled contact the sender immediately

 

What Should You Do If You See Packages Being Stolen In Your Neighborhood?

  • Call Police.
  • Supply Police with an accurate description of the suspect(s) and any vehicles that may be used.

National Night Out Oct 3rd

NNO 2017_ 2This year’s National Night Out is scheduled for Tuesday October 3rd.  If your neighborhood is planning on participating and would like an Officer with the Wichita Falls Police Department to come by and be a part of your event please contact Sergeant McClure at (940) 720-5016.

Also, did you know that over 6,700 Wichita Falls residents have joined the Wichita Falls Police Department on Nextdoor.com to get to know their neighbors and to take a stand against crime.  There are more than 80 established Nextdoor neighborhoods within the city.  Chances are you live in or near one.  If not, please visit http://www.nextdoor.com and sign up.  It’s free and simple.  Iphone and Android apps are also available.

logo-white-largeHere is what Nextdoor.com is all about:

Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free.

Thousands of neighborhoods nationwide are already using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.

People are using Nextdoor to:

  • Quickly get the word out about a break-in.
  • Organize a neighborhood watch group.
  • Track down a trustworthy babysitter.
  • Find out who does the best paint job in town.
  • Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog.
  • Find a new home for an outgrown bike.
  • Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name.

Nextdoor’s mission is to use the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods.

We look forward to seeing everyone on National Night Out October 3rd.

Cybersecurity Incident & Important Consumer Information

Cyber-Security-2The Wichita Falls Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit is wanting to make sure everyone is aware of a recent cyber attack against one of the leading consumer credit reporting agency and steps that you can take to help ensure that your identity is protected.

According to Equifax, “on July 29, 2017, Equifax discovered that criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. The company promptly engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm which has been conducting a comprehensive forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion, including the specific data impacted. Equifax also reported the criminal access to law enforcement and continues to work with authorities. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.”

To see if you were possibly affected click here and follow the instructions.

For further information regarding this you can visit the Equifax information page by clicking here.

WFPD Seeing Increase in Counterfeit Currency

downloadOver the past couple of weeks The Wichita Falls Police Department has seen an increase in counterfeit bills being reported in the local area. The majority of the bills are 100’s. At this time there are little leads on suspect(s).

A way to prevent from becoming a victim is to gain knowledge. You can do that by learning what security features are incorporated into each bill. The following link is a PDF describing security features on various bills: (https://www.secretservice.gov/data/KnowYourMoney.pdf).

You can also take a free online training course at https://www.uscurrency.gov/training-course and learn more about the money you handle.

If you have any information on this crime you can contact the WFPD at 940-761-7792 or if you want to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 322-9888.

Ticket Scam Alert

scam-alertThe Wichita Falls Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit would like to remind people to be cautious when purchasing tickets to special events and recreational parks online.  The old adage, ‘If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” is always a good reminder.

When purchasing tickets online from a third party and not an official vendor it is a case of “Buyer beware.”  The tickets may be fraudulent and you run the risk of the tickets not being accepted by the venue you are trying to enter.

If you do decide to purchase a ticket from a third party remember that a physical ticket is always better than a digital one.  Fraudulent digital tickets and codes can be easily reproduced.

Be careful in how you make any purchase from an unauthorized ticket seller.  Never give the seller access to your personal financial account information.  And, if you meet in person do so in a public place and bring a friend with you.

WFPD Continues to Encourage Citizens to Lock Their Vehicles

tlhThe Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind people that one of the best ways to help prevent from becoming a victim of vehicle burglary is to simply lock your vehicles.

Take, Lock, Hide. The basic crime fighting tool to help reduces vehicle burglaries.

  • Lock your vehicle. It takes seconds to break a window, but doing so makes noise – and criminals hate making noise.
  • Hide valuables from sight, or take items with you. If a criminal doesn’t see anything, they’re less likely to break in, and will move on.
  • Park in areas that are not secluded. Well lit parking lots, with good “sight lines”, make it more likely your vehicle is visible to the general public.
  • Aftermarket car stereos; consider models with removable face plates. Take the face plate with you when your leave your vehicle.
  • Record serial numbers of property you may leave inside your vehicle. If stolen, it makes it more likely the suspect, if he tries to pawn, will be identified.

There is no 100% fool-proof way to prevent all crime. You can make yourself less likely to be a victim of a burglary. Simply locking your vehicle and removing property from inside is half the battle.

WFPD Make Arrest In Faith Village Vehicle Burglaries

Generic handcuffOn June 19th at approximately 10:45 am Detectives with the Wichita Falls Police Department responded to the 500 block of Lamar at the Juvenile Detention Center where they served arrest warrants for theft of a firearm on two juvenile males that were currently in custody.  The juveniles were in custody on other unrelated charges.

The theft of a firearm charge stemmed from a vehicle that was broken into in the 4500 block of McNiel between the evening of June 6 and the morning of June 7th.  During that same time frame there were multiple vehicles broken into in and around the 4500 block of McNiel.

Detectives are still investigating and further charges are possible.

The WFPD would like to remind everyone to “Lock, Take, Hide.”  Lock your car, Take your keys and Hide your belongings.

tlh