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Crime Prevention

Auto Burglary and Theft

In most car burglaries reported to the Winnetka Police Department, the vehicles had been left unlocked. Theft is a costly crime. It results in loss not only for those whose property is stolen, but also for the entire community since expensive police resources must be dedicated to investigating it. This crime can be prevented!

pd-crime-prevention-message-img-20190306What you can do:

  • Ensure that your vehicle is locked after you park, even if it is parked in your own driveway or in your garage.

  • Remove all valuables from your vehicle, including purses, wallets, cell phones, and portable electronic devices. Never leave keys in a parked vehicle.

  • Keep the outside of your home well lit at night, including the garage area.

  • Be observant and call 911 immediately to report any suspicious activity to the Winnetka Police Department.

Auto thefts and burglaries of autos are often "crimes of opportunity." The Winnetka Police Department frequently receives reports of money or other items stolen from unlocked vehicles. Valuables should never be left in view inside of a vehicle.

Taking simple, common-sense precautions will help to reduce the number of thefts that are committed in Winnetka. Minimizing the opportunity for these types of crimes to be committed will help keep our community a safe and secure place.

 

 

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious crime. If your identity is stolen and used by identity thieves, recovering your good name and good credit record could take years and result in significant financial loss. As with any crime, you cannot completely control whether you will become a victim, but you can minimize your risk by managing your personal information cautiously and with greater awareness of potentially risky situations.

Here are some simple precautions that can help protect you from identity thieves:

  • Don't give your Social Security Number or credit card numbers out over the telephone or by e-mail unless you know the caller personally or are confident that the organization you are dealing with is legitimate. Identity thieves can be skilled liars and may pose as bank representatives, Internet service providers, and government agents.
  • Cancel unused credit cards.
  • Limit the number of credit cards and forms of identification you carry.
  • Place orders only with secure web sites. (Make sure the web address starts with "https" or look for a small padlock icon in the corner of the page.)
  • Destroy copies of credit card receipts, financial statements, and anything that has identifying information before discarding them. Use a shredder, available from office supply and other stores.
  • Check statements from financial institutions - verify account information.
  • Never give your Personal Identification Numbers (PIN numbers) to anyone.
  • Report unexplained interruptions in mail service to your local post office.
  • Order a copy of your credit report once a year from the three credit bureaus.
  • If you use Internet banking, make sure you are using the real websites from your bank and credit card companies. Use only the links shown on your bills and statements, not ones provided on unsolicited emails.
  • Check all purchases and debits made on your accounts and verify them against receipts.

Credit reports can be ordered from the following agencies:

Equifax (1-800-685-1111)
Experian (1-888-397-3742)
TransUnion (1-800-916-8800)

If you are a victim of identity theft:

  • File a police report as soon as possible and obtain the report number for future reference.
  • Report the identity theft to the three credit bureaus listed above.
  • Report fraudulent use of your Social Security Number to the Social Security Administration.
  • Contact your financial institutions. Consider obtaining new account numbers and PIN Numbers and having a code word placed on your accounts.

More information about identity theft can be obtained by contacting the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-4338. Packets for reporting identity theft can be obtained from the Winnetka Police Department. 

 

Solicitors

The Winnetka Police Department does not solicit donations. More information is available; click here.

While some solicitors are authorized and legitimate, many are not. The Winnetka Police Department encourages all residents to take some basic precautions when dealing with unknown solicitors.

When someone knocks at your door, don’t open it unless you know your visitor. View the person through a door viewer or window. Ask who they are and what they want. If the person is a sales representative, ask to see identification and their solicitor permit. A legitimate solicitor will have a Village of Winnetka permit. Have the person slip their credentials through the mail slot or view them through the window or door viewer. If you choose to conduct business with a legitimate sales representative, limit the amount of personal information you provide. Never provide a social security or bank debit card number.

If the solicitor does not have a permit or refuses to provide identification, do not open the door and advise them you are not interested in their sales presentation. If you have concerns or questions on the legitimacy of a permit, contact the Winnetka Police Department to verify the identity of the individual and the organization they purport to represent. If the solicitor becomes belligerent, tell him/her to leave your property and call the police.

Call 911 immediately to report suspicious person(s) and activities. This includes a solicitor who refuses to leave your property or has become hostile or threatening.

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