Crimewatch bulletin 3-19-12

Police reported to one our residents over the weekend that in recent days, there have been twenty four car break-ins and two home burglaries on Glenham Drive, near our subdivision. They warn that we should all be on alert and watch out for each other, and to report all suspicious activity to the police department.

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More Door-to-Door Solicitors 2-1-12

Solicitors approached 1154 Citrus Ave and requested donations for overseas Broadcast education. One was heavy set and said he lived in neighborhood. When asked for ID showing his address, he said he did not have it with him. They were turned away by the owner.

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Door-to-door Solicitors 12-30-11

There have been reports about door-to-door solicitors in our neighborhood. Two young men appeared at 1007 Mandarin Dr and said they were looking for someone to donate money so they could further their education in the broadcasting field. One was heavy-set and said his parents lived in the neighborhood. The same two men also appeared at 1101 Pineapple Ave. One claimed that they were earning money selling subscriptions to pay for an internship at the BBC. They were turned away in both instances.

[Please read the post on door-to-door solicitation posted earlier this year]

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Crime Bulletin 12-29-11

A break-in occurred at 1011 Citrus Ave. The break-in occurred in the early AM, 12-29-11.  It appears that thieves entered the screen-enclosed room/patio in the rear, broke a bathroom window, unlocked the lock and entered the home. Cash and jewelry were taken from the house.  Electronics (TVs, etc.) were not taken.

A Garmin GPS receiver was stolen from an unlocked van at 865 Sunswept Rd. It was later found in a stolen car that was recovered in our neighborhood. [Reminder to all to lock all cars parked outside a locked garage.]

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Watering Restrictions

Please be sure to follow the current St. Johns River Water Management District rules for watering your lawn.  You can find additional details in the PDF file attached to this article on Watering Restrictions.

Set your timers appropriately so that this precious resource can be shared by all.

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Be Smart/Safe about Door-to-door Salespeople

Be Smart, Safe About Door-to-door Salespeople
By Dave Larimer, Florida Today, Jan 22, 2011

Most folks who appear unannounced at your front door are harmless but usually have a goal in mind: sell a product, service or idea to you. In many cases — such as Girl Scout cookies and school magazine drives — there is value and safety in these transactions. In other cases, it’s let the buyer beware and be wary.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office suggests residents be guarded in their dealings with door-to-door salespeople.

“Do not ever let a solicitor in your home,” said Sgt. Joanna Seigel of the sheriff’s office crime prevention unit. “Do not hesitate to call for law enforcement assistance,” she added. “We are here to help the citizens of Brevard and will help determine if the solicitor is a legitimate seller.”

Seigel said most door-to-door solicitation is unlawful without a permit and the details can be found in Florida State Statutes 501.021 and 501.022. (Go to leg.state.fl.us/Statutes for more on Florida laws.)

You can call the crime prevention unit at 321-454-6643 or send an e-mail tocrimeprevention@bcso.us.

Many neighborhoods ban solicitors and have signs posted and written covenants to spell out the restrictions for door-to-door salespeople. A small percentage of folks are up to no good, so the Brevard Sheriff’s Office offers these additional tips on home safety:

• Don’t open the door until you are sure of a visitor’s identity. If someone asks for help and you are concerned for your safety, tell him or her through your locked door, “I am calling the police for you right now.” Call 9-1-1 immediately when you are concerned about a suspicious person.

• Do not trust chain locks for the front doors. Once the door is cracked open, even slightly, criminals easily can break the chain and force their way in.

• A knock on the door should not go unanswered — it could give a would-be thief the idea that no one is home and encourage the person to attempt an entry. Use the peephole or window to check who’s at the door and — secured behind your locked entry — ask “who’s there?”  If you don’t like the reply, call authorities.

  • Never buy anything from door-to-door solicitors. Any purchase will encourage their presence in the neighborhood.

Additional Note:

– Inform solicitors that door-to-door selling is not permitted in the Turkey Creek Subdivision.

– Be suspicious of solicitors who may be burglars in disguise. If in doubt about a solicitor, call the Palm Bay Police at 952-3456.

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Safeguarding Your ID and What-to-do if Your Wallet is Stolen.

These are some common sense tips on safeguarding your ID, taking precautionary steps in case your wallet is stolen, and what to do if your wallet is stolen. The original author (unknown) is an attorney, and learned some lessons the hard way after his wallet was stolen. His recommendations have been supplemented with other data from the FTC website. I have not verified the toll-free numbers given, but the name of the organizations to contact are listed with the telephone numbers. I think these tips all make good sense, even if you have an ID Theft Protection service.

1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, write “PHOTO ID REQUIRED.”

2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card, just put the last four numbers of the card in the memo line.

3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. Use your work address or if you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks.

4. Copy the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. and keep in a safe place. Carry a photocopy of your passport when you travel either here or abroad. Scan the copies and send to yourself as an email attachment, and put the email in your save file. You can then get remote access to these documents if needed.

5. Keep credit card toll-free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call to cancel credit cards.

6. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation (if there is one).

7. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations to place a fraud alert on your name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit. Call the Social Security fraud line number if you believe your SSN has been stolen.

8. If the stolen information includes your driver’s license or other government-issued identification, contact the agencies that issued the documents and follow their procedures to cancel a document and get a replacement. Ask the agency to “flag” your file to keep anyone else from getting a license or another identification document in your name.

Numbers to contact if your wallet is stolen:

1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 1-800-525-6285

2.) Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or 1-888-397-3742

3.) Trans Union : 1-800-680 7289 or 1-800-680 7289

4.) SS Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271 or 1-800-269-0271

The FTC website offers the following advice:

If your information has been misused, file a report about your identity theft with the police, and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/idtheft. Read Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft for detailed information on other steps to take in the wake of identity theft.

The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Watch a new video, How to File a Complaint, at ftc.gov/video to learn more. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Socialsecurity.gov website offers the following advice:

You should contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft. Or, you can call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261. The FTC website is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you deter, detect and defend against identity theft.

You also may want to contact the Internal Revenue Service. An identity thief might also use your Social Security number to file a tax return in order to receive a refund. If the thief files the tax return before you do, the IRS will believe you already filed and received your refund if eligible. If your Social Security number is stolen, another individual may use it to get a job. That person’s employer would report income earned to the IRS using your Social Security number, making it appear that you did not report all of your income on your tax return. If you think you may have tax issues because someone has stolen your identity, contact the IRS Identity Protection Unit at www.irs.gov/privacy/article/0,,id=186436,00.htmlor call 1-800-908-4490.

Also, you should file an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov.
The IC3 gives victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. IC3 sends every complaint to one or more law enforcement or regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction over the matter.

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Crime deterrent questionnaire (before leaving on long absence).

The Turkey Creek Crime Watch Committee has some suggestions for simple steps to take to deter crime in the neighborhood.  With the summer travel season coming up, here is a questionnaire on crime deterrent measures you should ask yourself before leaving town.

1. Did you inform a neighbor that you will be away from your home and to report suspicious activity to the police?

2.  If the answer to Question 1 is “Yes”, did you give a key and an emergency phone number to this neighbor?  For extended absence, did you ask your neighbor to occasionally set a trash can on your driveway for trash pickup?

3. Did you arrange with anyone to pick up packages delivered, free newspapers and flyers tossed on your lawn or driveway?

4. Do you have timer-operated interior lights turned on while you are away?

5. Do you have timer or photo-cell operated front entrance lights that go on every night, even if you are home?

6. Do you have a conventional breakage-detection home security system activated during your absence?

7. Do you have an intrusion alarm system activated during your absence?

8. Do you have motion activated flood lights activated around the periphery of the house?

9. Do you have all entrances to your home secured and all drapes drawn and blinds closed?

10. Did you and family members attempt to inform only people who “need-to-know” that you will be away from home? This includes online chat and social networks.

11. For absences greater than 3 days, was your mail delivery stopped?

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