Garage Security (important safety video)

The following video on how to deter thieves from breaking into your garage.
 
How to prevent it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSO_HTBHLFI


 

 

SCAM ALERT

 

The Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office has taken several reports in the past five (5) months of someone calling and telling the person their grandchild is in jail in Mexico and they need money wired to Mexico to get them out of jail. In all the reports taken the grandchild was not in jail or in Mexico.

If you receive a phone call like this, contact the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office and report the incident. 830-379-1224

 

 

 

From the Federal Trade Commission website: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/haunted-phantom-debt

Haunted by Phantom Debt?

 

Phantom debts – sounds a little like a ghostly Halloween prank. Unfortunately, it’s no joke. Some fake debt collectors may try deception and threats to pressure you to pay debts that you don’t owe. The FTC recently settled a case with debt collectors, Pinnacle Payment Services, Lisa Jeter, her partners and related companies about just these kinds of practices.

Imagine getting a phone message like this:

This is the Civil Investigations Unit. We are contacting you in regards to a complaint being filed against you, pursuant to claim and affidavit number D00D-2932, where you have been named a respondent in a court action and must appear… Please forward this information to your attorney in that the order to show cause contains a restraining order. You or  your attorney will have 24 to 48 hours to oppose this matter… Call 757-301-4745.

Who wouldn’t be spooked? The FTC has gotten almost 3,000 complaints about messages like this. 

Sometimes the collectors use fictitious names that imply they are or are affiliated with a law firm. They threaten that if you don’t pay, you could suffer serious consequences – like being sued, being arrested at work, having your bank account closed, your wages garnished, or forced to appear in court thousands of miles from home.

If you think that a caller may be a fake debt collector, ask for his name, company, street address, and telephone number. Tell the caller that you refuse to discuss any debt until you get a written "validation notice." The notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe, and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

If the caller refuses to give you all this information, don’t pay! Paying a fake debt collector won’t always make them go away: They may make up another debt to try to get more money from you. Don’t give or confirm any of your financial or other sensitive information, either. Phony debt collectors can use your information to commit identity theft by charging your existing credit cards, or opening new credit card, checking, or savings accounts, writing fraudulent checks, or taking out loans in your name.

Phantom debt can be scary any time. If you get a call about a debt that just doesn’t ring true, contact the FTC.

 

 

 

From Federal Trade Commission website: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/paying-threat

Paying for a Threat

 

Imagine this: it’s the hottest day of the year. (Or, since we’re getting into Fall, the coldest.) Someone from your utility company calls to say they’re about to cut off your power. You check the caller ID, and it looks like the right number – at least, it’s in your area code. You know you’ve paid your bill, and you can’t imagine what happened – but you also know you can’t afford to lose power. So what do you do?

The caller tells you: I can stop this, but only if you pay me. And, naturally, he tells you how.

Up to this point, it’s the kind of scam we often see at the Federal Trade Commission. Consumers tell us every day about being tricked into wiring money or giving their credit card  or bank account number to a very persuasive person – who turns out to be a first-rate scam artist. There are all sorts of scams: someone you know is in trouble and needs your help; you won a big, big prize, but you have to pay a fee before you can collect it; you can get a government grant, but you need to pay some fees – and so many other variations.

But this particular scam has its own variation on the scheme. Instead of wiring money, these scammers are telling people to use GreenDot, buy a prepaid gift card, or use PayPal to pay them. Scammers using reloadable debit cards, gift cards, or PayPal is not exactly new – but it’s definitely growing. It lets them get your money in a way that doesn’t let you ever get it back. *Poof* – it’s gone. And that call that looked like the right number? Scammers can use computers to make it look like they’re calling from one place – when, really, they’re someplace else.

So, if you ever get a call (or email, or text, or – perish the thought – visit) saying you need to pay someone via PayPal, or buy a GreenDot card or a gift card: Stop. Chances are, that’s a scam. Call your utility company – for example – on a number you know to be correct. (Check your bill – it will list one.) Tell them what happened and see what they say. And then report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-FTC-HELP, so we can try to shut them down.

 

 

 

 

 

Burglary of Motor Vehicle Prevention

 

·  Always lock your vehicle and close all windows.

·  Keep all valuables and packages out of sight. Leaving valuablesin plain view provides a tempting target.

·  The most effective way to prevent becoming a victim of burglaryof a motor vehicle is to make sure anything that might tempt a criminal issecured in the trunk.

·  Don’t place your property in the trunk at the time you park andleave the vehicle. Thieves observing this action will enter your car and openthe trunk to steal the property.

·  Activate the alarm system.

·  Always park in well-lighted areas and be familiar with yoursurroundings take the keys. Over 25% of all stolen vehicles had the keys leftin the vehicle.

·  Do not exit your vehicle and leave running (review yourinsurance policy).

·  Don’t hide spare keys in or under the vehicle.

·  Use anti-theft devices. The use of devices such as a steeringwheel lock, electronic alarm, an ignition kill-switch, gas cap lock, window VINetching and a vehicle tracking device all protect your vehicle and detervehicle theft.

·  Document the serial numbers on all your property and/or etchsome type of identifying information on the property to help locate andidentify in case of theft.

·  Never leave the registration or insurance cards in the vehicle.Thieves will be able to provide legitimate documents when stopped by thepolice.

·  Register your vehicle in the State of Texas, Department ofPublic Safety, H.E.A.T., program, (txdps.state.tx.us/). The program will helpprotect your vehicle while you’re asleep between the hours of 1:00 am and 5:00am, which is when most vehicle thefts occur.

·  Report all burglary and theft offenses to law enforcement.

 

Be especially alert of activity and people in parking areas and

report suspicious activity by calling law enforcement or if you want to

remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers.

Guadalupe County Crime Stoppers at 877-403-TIPS (8477), P3 Tips App or www.gccsTIPS.org

 

Home Burglaries

More than three million burglaries committed in the United States in 1996 accounts for 24 percent of the reported serious crime. About 66 percent of all burglaries, or approximately two million, are committed in houses and apartments. About 69 percent of all burglaries required forcing a door or window to gain entry. Most houses and apartments are protected by simple and ineffective door and window locks. Modern hardware is available for door and window locks which will stop the amateur and slow up the experienced burglar.

There are generally three types of burglars: the professional, the semi-professional and the amateur. Although the average home owner will probably not have to face a professional thieves who focus on extremely valuable items, you need to be aware of the semi-professional and amateur burglars.

Residential burglars are often male teenagers who live near your home. They are opportunists who look for easy targets. If the risk of detection is too high, the average burglar will not attempt to enter your home.

How to Protect Your Home

Overgrown or extremely large trees or shrubs can hide burglary activity, especially around your home entry points. For security sake, have them trimmed or moved.

Fences can be as effective part of your security, but they may be a liability in hiding a burglar's privacy. Tall chain linked, fences provide security without sacrificing visibility.

Dogs can also be a valuable asset to home owners. Any dog that bark at strangers brings unwanted attention to a thief. Larger dogs can even discourage an intruder from entering your yard or home.

Street lights are another important crime deterrent for your neighborhood, but personal residence should be well lighted. Porch lights and motion-sensitive lighting are recommended for most homes.

You do not want to help a burglar break into your home, so watch what you leave in your yard. Be sure to put tools away after you are done. Your own ladders, screwdriver, hammers, or pliers can be used against you.

The average burglar has only two options for entering your residence: doors and windows. For external door frames, opt for solid wood or steel. Hinges should be positioned on the inside of the door so that a thief with screwdriver will be unable to remove the entire door. Dead bolt looks are a necessary investment. Sliding glass doors are a common entry point. For maximum security, use vertical bolts. Also, place a solid wood rod on the inside track to hold the door closed.

Garage doors are another frequent entry point. The door that connects your garage to your home should have solid wood or solid core construction. Secure it with a deadbolt lock. Don't rely on the electric garage door opener as your security measure. When you are leaving, take a few seconds to watch the door close completely.

Back doors are a popular target because they are offer concealment from the street and owners leave them unlocked. It's important to keep your door well lighted and install a deadbolt. These doors should have a solid core as well.

All ground windows should have key-operated sash locks. Keep your windows closed and locked when you are away. Screen and storm windows should be securely fastened to the structure.

Upper windows should be secured and locked. Keep your second floor secured by trimming tree branches away from the house to prevent climbing, and do not store ladders where burglars can use them.

When you move into a new house, apartment or condominium, change all of the locks immediately. Because keys have a tendency to multiply, you don't know who will have access to your home.

Talk to your neighbors about your concern about burglary. Ask them to report any suspicious persons or activities around your home to your law enforcement agency. Alarms on doors and windows are the surest way to detect a burglar, but watchful neighbors alert to unusual activity who will notify law enforcement authorities are an effective means of detection.

Vacationers provide burglars with plenty of time to enter your home, remove large items and search leisurely for hidden valuables. If you are planning a vacation, take precautions to protect your home. The key is to create an illusion of everyday activity. Ask the police to check your home and patrol your neighborhood while you are away. Stop the mail and newspaper deliveries, or have your neighbor collect them while you are away. Secure all doors and windows, pet entrances and garage doors. Transfer all valuables to a safety deposit's box. Place a timer on indoor and outdoor lamps to illuminate your home at night, and make sure that no blobs are burned out. Have a trusted friend or neighbor check your home each day. Never indicate on your phone answering machine that you are on vacation.

Guadalupe County Crime Stoppers at 877-403-TIPS (8477), P3 Tips App or www.gccsTIPS.org

 



Drug Use and Gang Activity

 

NEED ANSWERS? Below you will find information on Signs of Drug Use and Gang Activity

Signs of Drug Use

Methamphetamines: "Wired," sleeplessness for days and weeks at a time, total loss of appetite, extreme weight loss, dilated pupils, excited, talkative, deluded sense of power, paranoia, depression, loss of control, nervousness, unusual sweating, shaking, anxiety, hallucinations, aggression, violence, dizziness, mood changes, blurred vision, mental confusion, agitation.

Cocaine: Impaired thinking, confused, anxious, depressed, short tempered, panic attacks, suspiciousness, dilated pupils, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, decreased sexual drive, restlessness, irritability, very talkative, scratching, hallucinations, paranoia.

LSD (Acid): Dilated pupils, skin discoloration, loss of coordination, false sense of power, euphoria, distortion of time and space, hallucinations, confusion, paranoia, nausea, vomiting, loss of control, anxiety, panic, helplessness, and self destructive behavior.

PCP: Sometimes violent or bizarre behavior, suicide has often occurred, paranoia, fearfulness, anxiety, aggressive or withdrawn, skin flushing, sweating, dizziness, total numbness, and impaired perceptions.

Inhalants: Short-lasting euphoria, giggling, silliness, dizziness. Then come the headaches and full-blown "faintings" or going unconscious. Longterm Use: Short-term memory loss, emotional instability, impairment of reasoning, slurred speech, clumsy staggering gait, eye flutter, tremors, hearing loss, loss of sense of smell, and escalating stages of brain atrophy. Sometimes these serious longterm effects are reversible with body detoxification and nutritional therapy; sometimes the brain damage is irreversible or only partially reversible.

Heroin: Chemically enforced euphoria. "Nodding," which is a dreamlike state, near sleep, drifting off for minutes or hours. For long time abusers heroin may act like a stimulant and they can do a normal daily routine; however, for others, it leaves them completely powerless to do anything.

Marijuana: Compulsive eating, bloodshot red eyes that are squinty (they may have trouble keeping them open), dry mouth, excessive and uncontrollable laughter, forgetfulness, short term memory loss, extreme lethargy, delayed motor skills, occasional paranoia, hallucinations, laziness, lack of motivation, stupidity, sickly sweet smell on body, hair, and clothes, and strong mood changes and behaviors when the person is "high".

Depressants (Tranquilizers and Barbituates): Decreased inhibition, slowed motor coordination, lethargy, relaxed muscles, staggering gait, poor judgement, slow, uncertain reflexes, disorientation, and slurred speech.


 

What is a Gang?

A gang is defined as an organization, association or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, which has a common name and/or common identifying signs or symbols, whose members individually and/or collectively engage in criminal activity.

 

Why Do Kids Join Gangs?

  • Identity through recognition
  • Perception of belonging
  • Peer pressure
  • Intimidation
  • Protection (real or perceived)
  • Lack of family life
  • Family ties to gangs (it is expected or acceptable to join a gang)
  • Brotherhood/interpersonal bonding
  • Low self-esteem
  •  
  •  

How Do Gangs Recruit Members?

Gangs influence youths into joining by using the following methods:

  • Peer pressure, offers protection
  • Monetary enticements
  • Challenging kids to take risks
  • Invitations to parties where gang-related activities are occurring
  • Family members already belong
  • Affection and attention shown to the youths by gang members that may not be given at home

 

What Are The Consequences of Gang Involvement?

Short Term Consequences

  • In trouble with law enforcement
  • Drop in performance at school
  • Withdrawal from family
  • Drug and alcohol involvement
  • “Dirty work” for the gang, earning their “bones” or “stripes”

Long Term Consequences

  • Loss of opportunities for education/employment due to criminal record
  • Time spent in jail or prison
  • Possibility of losing family or friends
  • Risk of personal injury or death
  • Risk of family members’ lives
  • Increased risk of violence in criminal activity

 

What Are Signs of a Gang in My Neighborhood?

Graffiti

Youths hanging out

Increase in crime- Gang-related acts such as burglary, vandalism and assaults.

 

 

How Can Neighbors Help?

You and your neighbors can work to eliminate gangs and drugs from your community and neighborhoods. They key is organization:

1) Get to know the neighbors on your block.

2) Contact your local law enforcement agency for advice and assistance for organization tips.

3) Contact Crime Stoppers

 

What Are Signs of Gang Involvement?

Changes in attitude or behavior

Openly admits gang affiliation

Showing colors (bandanas, t-shirts, jackets, shoes, ball caps)

Association with known gang members

Unwillingness to discuss their activities

Loss of family interest

Reluctance to be seen with other family members

Unexplained injuries (cuts and bruises)

Trouble with law enforcement or at school

Has unexplained cash or goods (clothing, jewelry, electronics)

New Friends

Tattoos or graffiti-style writing on clothing or books

Disregard for persons or property

Exhibiting signs of alcohol and drug use

 

How Can Parents Intervene?

  • Spend quality time with your child.
  • Encourage your child to become involved in athletics or other group activities that have adult supervision.
  • Set reasonable rules and enforce them consistently.
  • Demonstrate how to set goals.
  • Monitor and support child’s progress.
  • Teach social skills that enhance self-esteem and how to cope with peer pressure.
  • Educate the teen or child about the dangers of gang involvement.
  • Provide strong religious background.
  • Keep an open line of communication with your child.
  • Know your child’s friends and where they hang out.
  • Keep track of your child’s work at school.
  • Teens and children need to be involved with positive activities without a lot of leisure time.
  • Keep them involved in after-school activities, athletics or a job along with family time.

Guadalupe County Crime Stoppers at 877-403-TIPS (8477), P3 Tips App or www.gccsTIPS.org