And since the holidays are historically a time of increased crime, the Metropolitan Police Department advises being more aware and taking safety measures when away from home, out shopping or in your car.
"This holiday season, don't let the spirit of giving lull you into giving burglars, muggers and pickpockets a better chance to do their dirty work," the MPD website says.
Here are some holiday crime prevention tips from Metropolitan Police:
- Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Criminals often target people who are distracted talking on cell phones or using other electronic devices.
- Travel on populated well lit streets.
- Avoid carrying large sums of cash.
- Park in well lit areas.
- Avoid leaving ANYTHING (e.g., cell phone chargers, GPS suction cups, loose change) in your car. Secure packages in the trunk where they cannot be seen, and lock your car.
- Use ATMs wisely.
- To avoid package delivery theft - if you are having items delivered to your home, ask shipping companies for tracking numbers, and require signatures for all deliveries. If you are not at home, have the package left at a local shipping center.
- Homes - valuables should be placed out of sight from your windows.
- Be wary of con artists - people knocking on doors seeking donations.
- Ensure your doors and windows are locked.
- If you are not home, give an appearance as if you were by leaving a couple of lights on, or leave the television or radio playing.
- If you are going to be out of town, stop mail and newspaper deliveries.
- Shred or place cartons from high value products in heavy duty green or black garbage bags.
- If you consume alcohol, drink responsibly. However, DONT DRINK and DRIVE!
- CALL 911 AND REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY.