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Tigard Police Department

Crime Prevention Tips

Improving Public Safety by Design and Visibility
The 1970s ushered in a revolutionary way to support crime prevention. Law enforcement officials began using a multi-disciplinary approach called crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) to deter criminal behavior through environmental design. CPTED strategies work by changing an  offender’s decisions before a possible criminal act.

Fast-forward to 2017. CPTED still plays an important role in designing safer spaces and preventing crime. Tigard police officers often observe potentially unsafe areas at businesses or residential areas. They recommend property owners or renters look critically at their residence or business and consider design changes that enhance safety.

Overgrown vegetation that restricts visibility or conceals walkways or entrances can be unsafe and creates hiding spots for criminals. Keep shrubbery scaled back to create more visibility for occupants and others who may spot suspicious activity and report it to police.

Lighting also improves the safety of homes, apartments or businesses. A well-lit location is also less attractive to anyone with criminal intentions.

Make Your Address Visible
Remember, the police, fire or emergency medical responders cannot help you unless they find you. A hard-to-see address may delay a first-responder’s arrival. Police often find many locations have no visible address.

Please take some time to see if you could improve your address’s visibility. Crime prevention professionals recommend high contrast when it comes to address numbers on the outside of homes and businesses.  Small steps can lead to big results.

Summer Safety Tips

Summer Safety Tips from Tigard Police
While summer gives many residents to a break from day-to-day demands, criminals never go on summer vacation. Always stay alert and follow precautions to avoid being victimized.

Studies show certain property crimes have seasonal variations, and victimization occurs at higher rates during the summer. Here are some ideas suggested by the National Crime Prevention Council to help you and your family stay safe this summer.

Home Safety Tips

  • Stay connected within your neighborhood. Consider ways to share information with your neighbors and remain knowledgeable about neighborhood activity.
  • Lock your doors, including the garage door, when working outside around your home. Unlocked doors invite intruders.
  • If your plans include time away from home, ask a trusted neighbor to keep a watchful eye until you return.
  • Use timers for lights in your home when you are away, to give the appearance you are there.
  • Do not post on social media that you are leaving town. Share your photos after you return.

Tips While Away

  • Be friendly but vigilant. Watch for and report any suspicious behavior to police.
  • Plan your route—stay on well-traveled routes and walk in groups.  There is safety in numbers.
  • Keep your belongings secure: purses, backpacks and wallets. When eating out, do not hang your purse or backpack on the back of your chair.

Tips for Parents

  • Be proactive—make a backup plan in case the group gets separated during a family outing and have a scheduled meeting place and time.
  • If your child or teen will be alone a long period of time, have him/her check in with you if they plan to leave the house and when they arrive back home.

Car Safety Tips

  • Always lock your doors and close windows when you leave your car.
  • Do not leave valuables in the car. If you must leave possessions in your vehicle keep them out of sight or hidden in the trunk.
  • In new locations, note where you parked your vehicle. Consider taking a picture of your license plate and location before walking away.  

National Do Not Call Registry

The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint. You can register your home or mobile phone for free, and file a complaint at www.donotcall.gov.

Crime Prevention Tips

  • Remember to park in well-lit areas. You may want to consider using some type of anti-theft device.
  • Take extra caution when leaving work — especially during darkness. If possible, try to leave work with another person.
  • Two people walking and traveling together reduce the likelihood of crime by 50%.
  • When approaching your vehicle, be sure to quickly scan the area to be certain no one is loitering around your vehicle.
  • If you observe someone near your vehicle, stop, get to a safe location and notify the police.
  • The non-emergency telephone number for the Tigard Police is 503-629-0111. 

Stop Fraud

Fraud AlertWhat would YOU say if someone...

  • called on the phone and wanted to give you a free gift just for verifying your VISA card number and expiration date?
  • came to your door and said they would give you a good price on repairing your roof or resurfacing your driveway because the materials were left over from a big project in your neighborhood?
  • solicited for a charitable organization that was not known to you?
  • offered you a chance of a lifetime to invest—however the opportunity is right now! No time to reconsider.
What you SHOULD say is NO! to all of the above.

Scams and fraudulent schemes are happening all the time. Even right here in Tigard. The police are aware of numerous types of scams including pyramid schemes where you send money to a person at the "top of a list." Many, if not most of this type of offer is illegal. Also citizens are still receiving information on the "Nigerian Investment Opportunity." Local police agencies are advising to destroy that mail. It is not necessary to contact local police as the investigation into that particular fraud scheme is far more global and complex for local law enforcement to become involved. 

Police are asking citizens to be alert. There is a significant increase in fraudulent solicitation over the telephone, through the mail and also email. Police highly caution everyone about the risks of providing anyone money, credit card information and other personal and financial information. 

Know that the caller or person soliciting will never produce any "gift or winnings" because you provided them money or credit card information. If it sounds too good to be true it likely is just that. Numerous popular scams are occurring in our area on a daily basis. Be careful to recognize some of the tactics criminals use and be prepared to report such occurrences to the police.

In Oregon, all charitable organizations conducting solicitation are required to register with the office of the Attorney General. Consider verifying with the Department of Consumer Fraud before you provide them anything. The telephone number for consumer information is 503-229-5725.

In the event you choose to provide a donation, do not give out credit information over the telephone. It is strongly suggested you request the necessary materials to donate be sent to you in the mail. This also allows you the opportunity to verify the agency and contact information. Scam artists show tendencies to focus their fraudulent actions on elderly citizens; however any age is at risk of being defrauded.
  

   

Reduce Your Junk Mail

Annoyed With Junk Mail?
 
Junk MailCheck out the FTC Consumer Alert: Unsolicited Mail, Telemarketing and Email... Where to Go to “Just Say No”
 
Tired of having your mailbox crammed with unsolicited mail, including preapproved credit card applications? Fed up with getting telemarketing calls just as you're sitting down to dinner? Fuming that your email inbox is chock-full of unsolicited advertising? The good news is that you can cut down on the number of unsolicited mailings, calls, and emails you receive by learning where to go to "just say no."
  

Identity Theft

Have any of the following incidents happened to you?

  • Your ID or Driver’s License was stolen.
  • Your personal checks were stolen.
  • Your credit card was stolen.
  • You ordered new checks but never received them.
  • You discovered an unknown bank or credit account in your name.
  • You’ve received collection notices for purchases you did not make.
Avoid becoming a victim!
PhoneIdentity theft is one of the fastest-growing types of financial fraud. Without stealing your wallet, a criminal can steal your financial identity. Using a variety of methods (including mail theft and/or digging through a person’s garbage), a criminal can find (or gain enough information to obtain) a person’s credit card numbers, driver license number, social security number, bank account numbers /information, telephone calling card numbers and other key pieces of an individual’s identity. Using this information, the criminal can not only access the victim’s banking and credit accounts, but can also open new accounts in the victim’s name. The criminal will use these new accounts (i.e., credit cards, in-store credit accounts, checking accounts, cell phone service accounts, etc.) to charge up large debts in the victim’s name. Once the fraud is detected (i.e., the fraudulent accounts are closed), the criminal will simply move on to the next victim and start the process all over.

Act immediately to stop the thief’s further use of your identity!

Guard your trash.
Use a paper shredder to dispose of any and all unwanted documents with account numbers, bank statements, etc. If someone has used your identity for fraudulent gain, even though you may not have suffered a financial loss (i.e., you’ve been reimbursed by the bank or other financial institution) YOU ARE A VICTIM. Not only has your good name and credit been damaged, but there are likely criminal charges for which you can be named as the victim.

Victims should follow the guide points listed below: 

  1. Report the crime to the police ASAP. Be prepared to provide as much documentary evidence as possible (i.e., bank records and account statements). If you have a forged check (or other original document handled by the suspect), protect it by placing it into a paper sack. The police can then have these items processed for potential fingerprints.
  2. If your checks are stolen, notify your bank(s) of the theft at once. It is recommended that you CLOSE your accounts and obtain new account numbers. Ask the bank to issue you a secret password that must be used in every transaction.
  3. You may be required to fill out notarized fraud affidavits with banks and credit grantors where fraudulent accounts have been established in your name.
  4. Immediately call all your credit card issuers. If your credit card was stolen, get replacement cards with new account numbers.
  5. Call the fraud units of the three credit reporting companies:
Report the theft of your credit cards or numbers. Ask that your accounts be flagged. Also, add a Victim’s Statement to your report – THIS IS A MUST.

Victim’s Statement Example:
 "My SOCIAL SECURITY CARD, ID, or DRIVER’S LICENSE has been used to apply for credit fraudulently. Contact me at 555-123-4567 to verify all applications."

Be sure to ask how long the fraud alert will be posted on your account, and how you can extend it if necessary. If you use an ATM card for banking services, get a new card, account number and password. Do not use your old password. Avoid such commonly used numbers as the last four digits of your Social Security number and your birth date. 

Do not record your password on any article or on your credit card. Carry only what you need. Leave extra credit cards and checkbooks at home.

If you have had your checks stolen or bank accounts set up fraudulently, you can report it to the following companies:

  1. National Check Fraud Center: (843) 571-2143
  2. CheckRite: (800) 766-2748
  3. CrossCheck: (707) 586-0551
  4. SCAN: (800) 262-7771
  5. TeleCheck: (800) 927-0188
  6. National Processing Co.: (800) 526-5380
  7. Equifax Check Services: (800) 437-5120
Some of these companies have developed services to aid victims of identity fraud. Some have been able to reduce the time factor in resolving and restoring your check writing privileges and removal of negative remarks on your credit file. Most, if not all of these companies, charge for their services. 

You may want to have your SSN changed if your number has become associated with bad checks and credit. Contact your local office of the Social Security Administration. Caution: This step should be reserved for only the most extreme situations. Be sure to notify all credit grantors and credit reporting bureaus of your new SSN.

Notify the Postal Inspector in your area if you suspect mail theft. Theft of the mail or using the mail to commit a crime is a felony.

Examples of Mail Fraud:
  1. MailboxMail stolen from your mail box
  2. A forged check sent to you through the mail
  3. You mailed a check to an individual or a company who accepted the funds under fraudulent pretenses
If you have a passport, notify the passport office to be on the lookout for anyone ordering a new passport fraudulently.

Call your telephone, electrical, gas and water utilities. Alert them to the possibility that someone may attempt to open new service using your identification. Cancel your calling card if it has been stolen.

If someone has been using your Driver License number as identification on bad checks, you may want to change the number through the DMV. 

Consider seeking legal counsel, especially if you have difficulty clearing up your credit history, or your case is complex and involves a lot of money.
 

Home Safety

Home Safety: Decrease the likelihood that your home will be a target

BurglarOf all the major criminal offenses, residential burglary is perhaps the most common. 
A burglary is reported every 15 seconds in the United States. Burglars entered more than 2.1 million homes last year. Two out of every three burglaries were residential in nature. Statistics also share more disturbing numbers such as at least one home in twenty were burglarized last year in this country.

For the entire year 2009 in Tigard, 169 burglaries were reported. Of that, 107 were residential. Reports also indicated that a significant number of those residential burglaries reportedly occurred between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm. Reports also indicated that many of the entries into the homes were via unlocked or opened doors and windows. Police suggest that home owners and apartment dwellers look critically at their residence and make necessary changes to help bolster the safety and security of the home.

In efforts to help look for possible weaknesses or lack of security elements in place, Tigard Police suggest using the provided Home Security Checklist to evaluate your property. A few minutes of your time now can possibly alleviate becoming a victim in the future.

Remember to always report suspicious activity around your home and in your neighborhood to the police. The non-emergency telephone number for Tigard Police is 503-629-0111. In addition to taking the necessary precautions around your home, why not consider joining a "neighborhood watch?" Having your neighbors also looking out for you and your property is another plus. Consider joining if you haven't already. If you do not know if a neighborhood watch is present in your area, you can contact Tigard Police at 503-718-2561 to learn more.
  
Contact
Inquiries regarding this information can be directed to the Tigard Police Crime Prevention Officer, Jim Wolf at 503-718-2561 or jim@tigard-or.gov for more information.
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