VIDEO: Sheriff Ivey Offers Holiday Crime Prevention Tips

By  //  December 4, 2013

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BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In the past few weeks we have focused our Crime Prevention message on keeping safe during the Christmas and Holiday Season.

Avoid driving alone or at night. When possible shop with family or friends as there is safety in numbers. (Shutterstock image)

We have talked about protecting our home and family while traveling during the holidays so now its time to talk about safety while out shopping for gifts and food for the festivities.

Regardless if you are arriving at the mall or leaving a food store or restaurant you are going to find yourself in the parking lot. How we approach and depart the business can help keep us safe from harm. The following tips are important to keep you and your passengers safe:


1. Avoid driving alone or at night. When possible shop with family or friends as there is safety in numbers
2. If shopping at night look for well lighted areas to park
3. Park as close to the business as you can to limit exposure to criminals
4. If traveling from store to store make sure packages and other valuables are secured in the trunk when possible and not in open view
5. When leaving the store ask Security or Management to walk out with you
6. Never carry packages that obstruct your view or make you unable to defend yourself if necessary
7. Once in your vehicle immediately leave the parking lot so you are not a sitting target for criminals
8. Have cell phones and car keys immediately accessible in case of an emergency
9. Make sure that when patronizing an ATM no one is following you. Criminals will surveil the ATM and then rob you in an isolated area or when arriving home.

Once inside the store we need to shift our prevention focus to not becoming the victim of Credit Card Fraud or other types of scams. The following ideas will help protect you against having your credit compromised or having money taken from you through a scam or larceny.



1. Have a list of your credit card numbers “SAFELY” secured at your residence in case you have your wallet, purse, or credit cards stolen. The list will aid you when canceling the cards or supplying information to law enforcement
2. Never allow a waiter or customer service representative to walk away with your credit card where it can be secretly “skimmed.” When dining out ask the server can you pay at the cash register instead of allowing your credit card to leave your sight
3. If your credit card is equipped with RFID Chips try to keep the credit card in a protective wallet or sleeve designed to prevent it from being cloned
4. When writing checks NEVER leave your check book laying on the counter where others can see the routing numbers at the bottom. Always protect your checks and credit cards against someone shoulder surfing
5. When completing “Instant Credit” Applications ask the Customer Service Representative what measures they use to protect your Identity from being compromised
6. Beware of strangers approaching you or asking for money. Also be careful of the
various scams that criminals use during the holiday season.
7. When shopping on-line only shop with “Secure” sites that offer increased protection for the consumer. Look for the “Padlock” logo at the bottom of the screen
8. Beware of “To Good To Be True” on-line bargains and sales that are with companies you are unfamiliar with
9. Consider having an Identity Theft Protection service that can notify you if someone is trying to establish a line of credit in your name

The last thing I want to talk about in this part of our continuing series are some safety tips when shopping with children. As we are all aware this time of the year is fast paced and brings large volumes of shoppers to the malls and retail stores. Please keep the following measures in mind as you and your children patronize the various stores in our community:


1. Always pre-arrange a safety plan with your children if seperated. Never assume they will know what to do. Establish a Central Meeting place that everyone knows is a safe zone
2. Teach small children the importance of asking store security or law enforcement for help
3. If possible leave small children at home in a safe environment with a trusted sitter
4. Never allow children to leave your sight even to go to the restroom alone
5. Make sure children have your cell number in case they are separated they can give your number to security and always make sure your ringer is turned on
6. Never leave children unattended in the car so they can play video games or do other activities
7. Never leave children alone in the Food Court or Arcade area
8. Teach children the importance of staying by your side when shopping
9. Make sure that when leaving the business all kids walk safely through the parking lot and are not running in between cars or out of sight

Hopefully, the above safety tips will help keep you, your children, and your possessions safe during the holiday season. Next week we are going to shift gears a little as I share with you my list of great gift ideas to buy your family or friends for the holidays. Gifts that are somewhat unique, affordable, and most importantly are great resources to keep us safe.

Have a great week and as always please feel free to share our Weekly Crime Prevention message with your family, friends, and co-workers!


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.