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Captain Hasson: Overall Crime Down, But Car Break-ins Plaguing Neighborhood

Boston Police District 5 Captain James Hasson offers tips on how to protect yourself and your possessions during the holiday season.

Dear Residents,

The holiday season is a very special time of year. It is also a time when people need to be observant and aware that the chance of criminal activity is higher. District 5 would like to remind our neighbors that although our district is one of the safest in the City of Boston, it does not make us immune from crime. Overall, crime is down, however our neighborhoods continue to be plagued with cars being broken into. With the holidays approaching, we would like to take this time to remind residents that the most effective way to reduce your risk of theft is to remove any items of value in your motor vehicle that could make it a target for thieves. Keep your motor vehicle safe by using and sharing the following tips:

  • Holiday shopping leads to a car full of bags! Remember to bring all your gifts and packages into your home after shopping. Leaving valuable items in plain view makes your car a target for thieves.
  • Don’t leave your coats, bags, or any other valuables in the car when entering a mall to shop. Criminals are often on the lookout in parking lots to take advantage while individuals leave their car unattended.
  • Remove any items of value that might make your car appealing to thieves.  This includes GPS systems, chargers, loose change, sunglasses, and CDs.
  • Always lock your doors! If you have an alarm use it! And don’t leave your car running-even if you’re just warming it up in the driveway.
  • Park your car in a well lit area. If you have a driveway, consider installing motion censored lights.  

And if you are traveling during the holidays remember to take necessary steps to keep your home safe while you’re away.

  • Always lock doors and windows, whenever you leave your home.  This includes porch, cellar, and back doors. 
  • Don’t leave spare keys under a mat or in a mailbox. Give one to a trusted neighbor or to family members who live close by.
  • If you’re traveling for the holidays make sure to arrange with neighbors for mail/newspaper pickup. Also be sure to make sure the home is occupied by using automatic timers. Don’t have them? Leave a light on, or ask a friend or family member to pop in during your time away.
  • Keep an eye on your neighborhood — if you see a suspicious person or any out of the ordinary activity, call 9-1-1 for police assistance. 

Although it doesn’t seem as if we will have a White Christmas, we know that the snow is inevitable! So remember, drive cautiously! We remind drivers to be alert when driving during the holiday rush. Even in ideal weather conditions, there is always more traffic on both the roads and sidewalks. Operators should yield for pedestrians utilizing crosswalks at all times. Lower levels of speed on roads with high foot traffic such as Centre Street in West Roxbury and Washington Street in Roslindale is recommended. Operators who fail to abide by the traffic laws could receive fines up to $200.

Lastly, we recommend that during the holiday season residents make sure that their homes are protected from fire hazards. Check fire and carbon monoxide detectors and be sure the batteries are working. Don’t use old or worn out lights or extension cords and never run any cords underneath rugs. If you get a real tree, make sure to water it daily, and never leave lights on when you are not home. Be sure that any secondary heaters are approved means of heating. If you’re using a space heater, be sure to follow the directions. Avoid placing them near curtains and always turn them off when leaving your home or going to bed.  Since this area of safety is beyond our expertise we recommend that residents contact the local fire department/house and /or call the Community Service Office so we may help facilitate contact with the department. 

Please enjoy this special time with your families. Use and share these safety tips with your loved ones to ensure their safety during this holiday season. District 5 wishes you and your families a very happy holiday season and a happy new year.

Capt. Jim Hasson



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