Be wary, as crime picks up during the holiday season - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Be wary, as crime picks up during the holiday season

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You've made your list and checked it twice, but before you get decked out in the holiday mayhem, here are some friendly reminders about safety - the season of giving notoriously being linked to increased crime.

"I made a list," summarized Paul Suba. "It only took me five minutes to jot down things on this legal pad paper that would be important to me and my family." The former chief of police isn't talking about his Christmas shopping list. He's talking about safety - not just this holiday season - but all year long. "There's a lot to know but it can be simplified. It's common sense in a lot of cases," he said.

Like planning ahead...should you be out and about at the malls. "Pre-plan your travel route. Where are you going to go? What time of day or night? I recommend to try and go when the crowd is lesser, and if you can do your gift shopping prior to the rush. And usually people tend to rush after work," explained. "As often as you can, try and get a partner to go with you. Two women together are better than one; try not to go late at night, again."

And, he said, you want to opt for credit or ATM cards over carrying cash. "When a person has a purse or a bag and they have to look through the purse or the bag to find their key or their wallet or find things that you need, my advice is try to get a purse or bag where you can have everything organized. ," Suba stated. "Carry a lot of cash if you can avoid that."

If you park far...carry your car alarm or a whistle within reach. "When you need assistance or you feel threatened, you blow your whistle - no harm done to anybody," he said.

Also, don't make yourself a target. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. "In this modern age with electronics, we're busy with our cell phones," he said.

There are other more extreme measures to keeping safe, like carrying firearms - or taking a basic self-defense courses. "Try to take courses in self-defense - you don't need a lengthy, fancy movie style self-defense system. Simple self-defense techniques for women, children, and even men who aren't confident enough in their ability to defend themselves, but a lot of self-defense instructors will tell you, rather than fight, there's nothing wrong with running," he said.

"Self-defense courses are exceptional in teaching you the mindset - not just the move to defend yourself. 1558 because by that point, now you're in an altercation that you may or may not win. Even the strong men, sometimes there's multiple assailants."

And if you're a techie, there's lots of cool handy gadgets, as Suba said, "I recommend camera systems. Today there's so many varieties of camera systems. Of course, the company that I work with - G4S - has camera systems that are plug and play and affordable. To me, if you haven't gotten one, maybe now is a good time to purchase one for the family for safety and security at home."

And you can watch your home - from your cell phone. But if that's out of battery, there's solar powered phone chargers and lots of other gear to keep you out of the dark. "These simple light devices that can be attached to a wall. They're very bright. And they come in 2 or 4 packs. They're excellent gifts 0629 for families whether you have a generator or not," he said. "This device is a flashlight but you plug it into your car's cigarette lighter. Just like your cell phone charger - that type of thing," he said.

Suba says: it's better to be safe than sorry. "There's so many things. It just takes a little time and planning. Not only for the holiday, but this has to be a lifestyle of thinking - what could happen and what could I do to pre-address that," he said.

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