From the City Manager & Chief of Police: Staying Safe During the Holidays

By Christopher J. Russo, Former City Manager

(Monday, December 5, 2016) – As residents of Sunny Isles Beach, we have opportunities to shop here in our City and at nearby retail outlets throughout South Florida. During this holiday season it is important for residents and visitors to stay alert and follow the advice of our SIB Police Department to keep from becoming victims of crimes of opportunity. Our Police Officers are well trained and are multi-faceted in their approach to policing our community. What follow is advice from Chief Fred Maas on actions which you should take to make yourself and your family less vulnerable. I extend to all, my wishes for a safe and prosperous holiday season.

By Fred Maas, Former Police Chief

There is so much excitement, anticipation and activity going on around us during the holiday season, we become distracted and lose focus on our surroundings and personal safety. Unfortunately, there are those unscrupulous people better known as thieves, who prey upon people’s mistakes or carelessness or inattention, to steal their purchase of presents or gifts. Those are the ones who look for the opportunity of an unsuspecting or distracted person to make them a victim.

What are some examples and how do I protect myself and my property?

Be AWARE of your surroundings. Park in well lighted, secure places when you shop. Make sure you are not followed to your car when you finish shopping. Make sure you are not being followed when you drive away and AVOID stopping anywhere and leaving your vehicle unattended even for just a moment to run into a convenience store, a drugstore, or restaurant. Many thieves wait until you stop and park somewhere in order to break into your car and steal your packages and valuables. It only takes seconds for them to gain entry. If you have an uncomfortable feeling, go with your instinct, you are probably correct. Keep your doors locked and drive to a populated, well lighted location until you feel safe and are certain you are not being followed. If you truly feel threatened and feel you are being followed, call the police and follow their directions. LOOK, LISTEN and WATCH for what is around you especially at ATMs and when leaving banks. Your caution may prevent you from being a victim!

Have a safe and happy holidays!