Safety and Crime Prevention Tips

The best defense against crime is you! We encourage you to familiarize yourself with these crime prevention tips and to put them into practice. Most of them are low-cost and require little more than awareness and thoughtfulness. Together, we can make Baltimore a safer city!

You may also access the Center for Problem-Oriented-Policing Problem-Specific Guides for additional literature and crime prevention tips.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings!!!

Almost everyone has a smartphone, and they can be very distracting. Walking while texting or making phone calls is inviting to criminals. Avoid doing this! Thieves can easily see you have a valuable phone and are not paying attention to your surroundings.

Always Lock Your Car

It may seem like a no-brainer, but always lock your car. This includes while refueling at the gas station or quickly running into a friend’s house or store.

Don’t Leave Your Car Running By Itself

In the winter, we all want to get behind the wheel of a warmed-up car. So do car thieves!! Do not leave your car unattended if you warm it up before driving.

Leave Your Car Empty!

Whenever you leave your car, even for a few minutes, make sure to leave it empty. Opportunistic thieves walk the street looking through car windows. When they see a car that has valuables in sight – even small amounts of change – they may smash your window for a quick payday.

Hide Cell Phone Charging Cables & GPS Devices

A cell phone charger plugged into a car’s cigarette lighter or other outlet is a sign to crooks you may have additional items of value in the car. Hide that charging cable! Similarly, anyone who uses a GPS device should be aware that thieves look for a rubber mount’s suction cup ring on a car’s windshield. Before exiting the car, hide your GPS and wipe away the ring.

Package Theft

With the rise of online purchases and deliveries, opportunistic thieves commonly steal packages from front porches. If you know you are not going to be home when your package is delivered, leave a note asking the driver to deliver the package to a neighbor or a friendly neighborhood business for safekeeping!

Mail Theft

Most city residents don’t have traditional mailboxes at the end of a driveway, and outgoing mail left on top of a mailbox outside the front door is an easy way for thieves to steal your letters and even your identity!  Be sure to place all outgoing mail into one of the many available US Postal Service mailboxes located throughout the city.

Bicycle Theft

Because so many bicycles look alike and lack unique identifiers, it can be very difficult to return them to their rightful owners. Have a friend take a picture of you with your bike, and write the make and model on the back of the printed picture. You can also engrave the bicycle with a serial number, and keep the picture and serial number with your other important papers. Doing so will make it much easier to recover your stolen bike and prosecute the offenders.

Going Out of Town

If you are going out of town for an extended period of time, make arrangements with a neighbor to collect your mail and keep an eye on your house. And leave on lights. Piled up mail and a dark house tells criminals you aren’t home.