Holidays and breaks are good times for relaxation and fun, but it's important to take a few minutes to prepare before you leave campus.
As distractions and time away from home increase, all types of crime occur more frequently. When preparing for the holidays, consider the following tips from the Bradley University Police Department.
Before leaving for break:
Lock the doors and windows to your residence hall, house, apartment or office and take all keys with you. Please utilize our Vacation House Watch program, in which an officer will meet with you at the residence, inspect the exterior of the property (windows, entry and exit points) and add your residence to a list for each shift to monitor in your absence.
Take valuable personal property home with you for the break. If you leave anything of value in your home or office, secure it in a locked closet, cabinet, or security safe.
It is recommended that you arrange for U.S. Mail and packages to be forwarded to your permanent address (back home) for the break. You can also temporarily suspend mail services at your campus address, while out of town. Consider purchasing a P.O. Box at the post office for delivery purposes.
Prepare your vehicle for extended road trips and check for any safety issues, such as lighting, battery, fluid levels and tire pressure.
If you are leaving a car on campus, find a well-lit spot where you can park it; remove all valuables, and lock the doors. Also consider parking near an area with surveillance cameras. Bradley University’s Duryea and Main St. parking decks will remain open during the break.
Store your bike in a legal, secure location using a U-lock. Make sure you have the bike permit and serial number recorded for tracking purposes.
Talk to your roommates regarding when everyone is leaving and returning. Everyone should check and re-check the residence and personal belongings prior to leaving.
Secure large general-use items in storage areas and save all computer files. Preserve all files (thumb drives and hard copies) in a locked-fireproof security safe.
Unplug all appliances including computers. It's OK to turn your heat down but keep it above 50 degrees to prevent freezing. Remove any foods from the refrigerator that could potentially spoil/mold.
Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave.
If you stay on campus, keep an eye out for any suspicious activity and call the Bradley University Police Department at 309-677-2000, if you notice anything of concern.
Shopping safety tips:
Bradley University Police advises that shoppers be aware of their surroundings, keep an eye on people around them and shop with others. Being alone in an isolated or unlit area with expensive items and cash is just NOT safe.
Avoid carrying and displaying large amounts of cash. Use credit/debit cards if applicable. Consider conducting the majority of your holiday shopping via online or during daylight hours.
Lock valuables, electronics and newly purchased items in the trunk of your vehicle. Activate your vehicle theft deterrent system.
Park vehicles in well-lit areas and walk with other pedestrians. Have your keys in hand before walking to your vehicle. Keep your dominant hand free while walking to and from your vehicle.
Keep cell phones stored away until you’re in your car; using cell phones can be distracting and high-value smartphones are a target for thieves. Lock your car doors immediately upon entry into the vehicle.
Pocket books should be held under your arm and wallets should be kept in a front pants pocket. Keep your purse zipped at all times.
Only carry as many bags and packages as you can safely. Don’t overwhelm yourself with heavy items; ask for assistance from store employees if needed. Utilize online shipping and store delivery where applicable.
Place “high-value” brand bags in plain bags if possible. Thieves may target people holding bags that they believe have expensive items inside.
If you feel uncomfortable, or notice any suspicious activity, return to the store immediately. Make a report to security staff or police.