Weekly Crime Tip From the Desk of Wayne Ivey

By  //  March 18, 2014

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VEHICLE SAFETY

ABOVE VIDEO: Thieves who prey on women at gas stations are being caught on camera across the country. “Sliders” will pull alongside your vehicle and appear to be getting gas but instead the passenger of the vehicle exits and then “low crawls” to your unlocked door. Suspects then enter the vehicle having access to your purse, cellular telephone and even briefcases that are all often left in plain view. 

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — As we head back to work this week, I thought we would focus our Crime Prevention efforts on protecting you against criminals when you stop at a store to fuel your vehicles.

Smartphones have become the centerpiece for many of our lives and are utilized for practically every form of communication in today’s society. Voicemail, calendar, email, texting, internet access, social media and even all of our stored data can be stolen or lost. Even if we misplace our Smartphone and someone finds it, all of our data is available for theft and abuse.

Today’s criminals look for every opportunity to target us regardless if its by stealing our credit cards through skimming at a gas pump or stealing our possessions while we are not alert.

Today’s criminals look for every opportunity to target us regardless if its by stealing our credit cards through skimming at a gas pump or stealing our possessions while we are not alert. With that in mind, we would ask that you please apply the following crime prevention techniques when getting fuel or when patronizing a store:

AVOIDING CREDIT CARD FRAUD

Criminals often install “in-line” credit card skimmers inside gas pumps where you are unable to see them. The device is installed by opening the door on the gas pump and installing the device. When you insert your credit card, the device captures the info embedded on your credit card and stores it for recovery at a later time. Current intelligence tells us that in most cases the devices are installed in the gas pumps that are located the furthest from the store and out of the immediate view from the employees.

Criminals often install “in-line” credit card skimmers inside gas pumps where you are unable to see them. The device is installed by opening the door on the gas pump and installing the device. When you insert your credit card, the device captures the info embedded on your credit card and stores it for recovery at a later time.

While most businesses use a protective seal on the door of the pump to assure you that it is safe to use, there are no guarantees that the integrity of the pump is protected. We suggest the following crime prevention measures to protect yourself:

• Always try to get gas from the pumps that are on the inside gas lanes in direct view of the business employees.

• Prior to using the gas pump, look for the security seal and any suspicious or abnormal devices attached to the front of the pump.

• When possible, use the same credit card to get fuel on all occasions. This technique allows you to easily monitor credit card transactions and to easily determine if the card has been compromised.

• Use “real-time” credit card monitoring so that you are aware of every purchase that takes place on your account. Many credit card companies and banks offer alerts by text message that notify you anytime your credit card is used for a transaction.

THEFT FROM YOUR VEHICLE

A new technique that is being used by criminals is called “sliding.” Unfortunately, many of will leave your car unlocked while standing at the gas pump.

“Sliders” will pull alongside your vehicle and appear to be getting gas but instead the passenger of the vehicle exits and then “low crawls” to your unlocked door. Suspects then enter the vehicle having access to your purse, cellular telephone and even briefcases that are all often left in plain view.

“Sliders” will pull alongside your vehicle and appear to be getting gas but instead the passenger of the vehicle exits and then “low crawls” to your unlocked door. Suspects then enter the vehicle having access to your purse, cellular telephone and even briefcases that are all often left in plain view.

“Sliders” will pull alongside your vehicle and appear to be getting gas but instead the passenger of the vehicle exits and then “low crawls” to your unlocked door. Suspects then enter the vehicle having access to your purse, cellular telephone and even briefcases that are all often left in plain view.

In an effort to avoid being a victim of this type of criminal activity, please take the following precautions:

• When exiting your vehicle. always lock your doors and keep your keys safely stored in your pocket. If you believe someone is trying to target you, then immediately activate you car alarm to draw attention to yourself.

Always park in well lighted areas so that everyone can see you and you can see anyone walking around you. Routinely look around the surrounding area and make sure that no one can easily walk up to you without being noticed. If someone approaches you that you do not know, quickly enter your vehicle and lock the doors so you can safely exit the parking lot.

• Never leave your valuables sitting in the front seat where someone can walk by and grab them off the front seat or through an open window.

• Always keep a constant watch on everything around you and especially cars that pull into the pumps while you are getting fuel.

• Always park in well lighted areas so that everyone can see you and you can see anyone walking around you. Routinely look around the surrounding area and make sure that no one can easily walk up to you without being noticed. If someone approaches you that you do not know, quickly enter your vehicle and lock the doors so you can safely exit the parking lot.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey

Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft. That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today. The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.

Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.

Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.


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