The information below was obtained
through the Porter County Sheriff's Office's
Public Information and
You can contact our Public Information Officer Larry
(219) 477-3000 for further information.
Rights and Responsibilities
Bicycle riders are part of the traffic and share the
road with automobile drivers. They must stop at stop
signs, obey traffic lights, and most other traffic laws
and signs. Bicycle riders must ride near the right hand
curb or edge of the roadway but they can legally move
left to turn left, to pass another vehicle or bicycle,
or to avoid dangerous conditions such as parked cars.
Rules for Bicycle Riders
Ride WITH traffic only persons walking on the
roadway face traffic.
Ride in a straight line except when necessary to
make a turn, avoid hitting someone or something, or
drive over water drains, railroad tracks, holes, or
Use a hand signal just as drivers of automobiles do
before turning left or right.
However, bicyclists may signal for a right turn by
holding the right arm straight out pointing right.
Ride as near the right curb or edge of the street as
practicable when riding slower than other vehicles.
On one way streets with two or more lanes, ride near
either left or right curb or edge of the street.
When passing parked cars, look through the rear
windows to see if there is someone in a car who may
open a door in your path. If there is, or if you
cannot see into a vehicle, check traffic behind you
and move out far enough to avoid the door if it
Use bicycle lanes, where marked on streets, when
riding slower than other vehicles. Leaving marked
bicycle lanes is permitted, when necessary, to
overtake or pass another bicycle, vehicle, or
pedestrian; to prepare for a left turn at an
intersection or driveway; or to avoid debris or
other dangerous conditions but only when it is safe
arid after giving a correct hand signal.
Get off the bicycle and "walk" it across using the
crosswalks at busy intersections.
Do not permit anyone to ride as a passenger unless
using a separate seat attached to the bike. If the
passenger is a child weighing 40 pounds or less, the
seat must have a device to hold the child in place
and protect him/her from the bike's moving parts.
Do not carry anything which prevents fielding the
handlebars with at least one hand. "No hands" riding
Do not "hitch rides" by holding on to or attaching
the bike to any other vehicle.
Do not ride on freeways which have signs prohibiting
Do not park a bicycle on its side, or so there is no
room for persons walking on the sidewalks.
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More than six million residential burglaries occur
every year in this country. That’s one every ten
Nearly half of these burglaries are committed
without force - that is, though UNLOCKED doors and
Most of these burglaries could be prevented.
Always lock your doors and windows even when leaving
for "just a minute." Never leave a house key
available: under a doormat, in a flower pot, on the
ledge of the door. These are the first places a
burglar will look.
If you would like to make life even harder
for crooks - Remember the following tips:
Exterior doors should have "dead bolt" locks with a
1 inch strong metal bar extending into the door
Sliding doors and windows should all have
"ventilation" locks as well as auxiliary locks to
bolster security and Be sure to include good locks
for garage, cellar, patio or other doors that lead
out through storage areas or a spare room
For more information on locks, contact the Porter County Sheriff's Office.
Lock all doors and windows.
Use timers so that lights, radio, TV, go on and off
throughout the house to indicate someone is home.
For longer trips be sure to stop mail and newspaper
delivery or have a neighbor collect them daily.
IN SHORT - MAKE YOU HOME LOOK "LIVED IN".
Remember, if you come home and see a broken window or a
jimmied door, don't go in. Confronting a burglar can be
dangerous. Phone the Sheriff's Department immediately.
Install a wide-angel lens viewer in the front door.
Never open the door without knowing who is there.
Consider alarm systems or trained security dogs for
Whenever you move to a new home, have the locks
Another deterrent to "would be" burglars
Mark your valuables with your Indiana Drivers
License number proceeded by the letters "IN."
Burglars don't want marked merchandise because it is
difficult to fence and evidence of guilt if they are
So mark your items as conspicuously as possible
without defacing them.
Photograph those items that can not be engraved
(jewelry, silverware, antiques).
"Don’t let ‘em knock your block off!"
Want to know the best crime prevention device ever
A good neighbor!
Law enforcement officers can't be everywhere at
once, but you and your neighbors can. You’re the
ones who really know what’s going on in the
Put that neighborhood know-how to work. It’s simple:
just use you’re eyes and ears - and then your
telephone. If you spot something suspicious, call
the police or sheriff immediately.
Don't try to stop a criminal yourself - it can be
Neighbors working together in cooperation with law
enforcement make one of the best crime fighting
teams around. For more information on how to start
you own NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUP - contact Officer
Ryan Jones in our Public Information & Education
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Check, Credit Card, and Refund Fraud
What can you do to prevent business fraud? Learn to
recognize it before it's too late. Here are some common
frauds to watch out for:
Contributing to losses from bad checks and credit cards
is the use of false identification. To minimize this
problem, require at least one primary ID, preferably
backed by at least one secondary ID
PRIMARY I.D.'s ARE:
a) Indiana driver's license (do not accept a
b) Indiana identification card.
c) Employee identification card with laminated photo
(check for alterations).
SECONDARY I.D.'s ARE:
NEVER ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING CARDS AS ID:
a) Membership cards.
b) Library cards.
c) Any card or ID that appears to be altered.
d) Social security cards.
e) Temporary driver's licenses.
Credit card fraud
Watch for these telltale signs of credit card fraud:
The card has been altered, has expired, or is not
Signatures on the card and sales slip don't match.
The customer makes several purchases in the same
department, all under the amount of the floor limit
or that which would require an authorization call to
the card issuer.
Always destroy carbons from credit card invoices or
offer carbon copies to customer so that credit card
numbers and names do not fall into the wrong hands.
SET UP CHECK CASHING GUIDELINES - AND FOLLOW THEM…
Require two proper I.D.'s to cash a check. Make no
Only accept local checks.
Only accept checks with the name and address
imprinted on them.
Only accept payroll or government checks when you
know the person or verify the check.
Consider limiting the check to the purchase amount.
Do not accept two-or-more party checks.
Do not accept postdated checks.
Do not accept checks with alterations.
Refunding is a courtesy extended by the store and no
store is compelled to honor any request.
If merchandise is defective, you may refund, exchange,
or follow the posted policy.
To minimize losses on fraudulent refunds, consider the
SCHEMES TO DEFRAUD MANUFACTURERS, SUPPLIERS OR
Schemes to defraud manufacturers, suppliers or
distributors can be used by all sorts of dishonest
persons on all kinds of businesses. It's a favorite ploy
of con men and organized criminals. Often, they will
establish a fake company, buy materials on credit, and
vanish. Sometimes they'll set up a company with a name
and address almost identical to a well-known, respected
company. That way, many suppliers are fooled into
granting them credit. Finally, organized crime may buy a
legitimate business, and use it (and its credit rating)
as a starting point for such schemes.
Sometimes these types of frauds are hard to detect.
Watch out for conditions like these:
A sudden change in your customer's management,
without any public notice.
The customer's payments start to lag behind, and the
credit balance starts to climb.
A new customer suddenly orders unusually large
amounts of merchandise - on credit.
Trade references for the customer cannot be
Suddenly a company increases its orders; sales
become "too easy."
If you notice these signs, take action. Get to know the
new management of a company. Do a careful credit check
on the customer. Make sure that new orders are not
filled until a credit check has been completed.
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It Shouldn’t Hurt To Be A Kid
Yet. children Continue to be hurt every day. For these
children there is no hope unless each one of us realizes
that our most important duty is the protection, welfare
and growth of our children.
Child abuse can leave a scar that is carried throughout
life. In fact, statistics show that the abused child all
too often grows up to be an abuser. We know that
breaking the cycle of abuse will not only protect our
children, but will reduce crime now and in the future.
Studies suggest that 85 percent of convicted felons were
abused as children.
Without individual and community concern and Involvement
there are really three "victims" of child abuse: the
child, the abuser, and the community. However, each of
us may make a valuable contribution to the protection of
children and the prevention of abuse. Our concern and
involvement is critical - it may save a life.
WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?
Child abuse Is legally defined as:
A physical injury which is Inflicted by other than
accidental means on a child by another person.
Sexual abuse, including both sexual assault and sexual
Willful cruelty or unjustifiable punishment of a child.
Cruel or Inhuman corporal punishment or Injury.
Neglect, including both severe and general neglect
Abuse (all of the above) in out of home care.
Indicators of Child Abuse
Below are some indicators of child abuse which can help
you recognize an existing or potential problem of abuse.
Physical abuse may be defined as any act which results
in a non-accidental physical injury
Indicators of physical abuse:
Bruises, burns, abrasions, lacerations. or swelling
caused by other than accidental means.
Belt buckle marks, hand prints. bite marks and pinches.
Child states injury was caused by abuse injury unusual
for a specific age group.
A history of previous or recurrent injuries.
Unexplained injuries; conflicting explanations or
reasons for injury.
Child excessively passive, compliant or fearful.
Caretaker attempts to hide injuries.
Neglect is essentially the negligent treatment or
maltreatment of a child by a parent or caretaker under
circumstances indicating harm or threatened harm to the
child's health or welfare
Indicators of neglect:
Child lacking adequate medical or dental care.
Child is always sleepy or hungry.
Child is always dirty or inadequately dressed for
There is evidence of poor supervision.
Conditions in home are extremely or persistently unsafe
Sexual abuse is defined as acts of sexual assault on and
the sexual exploitation of minors
Indicators of sexual abuse:
Child reports sexual activities to a trusted person.
Detailed and age - inappropriate understanding of sexual
behavior (especially by younger children.)
Child wears torn, stained or bloody under-clothing.
Child is victim of other forms of abuse
The law requires certain processionals to report
suspicion and/or knowledge of child abuse, which
includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and
cases of severe emotional abuse that constitute willful
cruelty or unjustifiable punishment of a child But,
community members also have an important role in
protecting children from abuse and neglect. The life of
a child may be saved if community members become
involved and report cases of suspected child abuse.
Involvement does not mean physical intervention or
snooping on your neighbor. It simply means not ignoring
the obvious Fear of involvement has resulted in family
tragedies in which neighbors reported they knew what was
going on, but declined to get involved.
If a member of the community, who is riot required by
law to report, does not want to identify himself or
herself, the report may be made anonymously.
AFTER YOUR REPORT
Many people are under the misconception that if a family
is reported for child abuse the parent will always be
arrested and the child will be taken away from the
family. Although this may occur in serious abuse cases,
the family is usually referred to services such as
counseling or parenting classes. In neglect cases, the
family may be referred 10 public assistance agencies
However, the goal of child protective agencies is to try
to keep the family unit intact unless the child is in
danger. The goal of all of us is to protect our children
and help them grow up healthy and happy
To report suspected child abuse contact your local:
Police or Sheriff’s Department.
County Welfare Department; or
County Juvenile Probation Department
Child Abuse and Neglect
(219) 462-7555 or (219) 462-2112
24-hour hotline for reporting child abuse and neglect
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Crime Prevention Tips for Seniors
Crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility. not just
a job for law enforcement- Seniors can learn how to
protect themselves from crime by following these simple.
common-sense suggestions. Share these tips with your
neighbors and friends, too, and make it tough for
criminals to work in your neighborhood.
Always keep your doors and windows locked. Install
dead bolt locks on all your doors.
Keep your home well lit at night, inside and out,
and keep your curtains closed at night.
Install a peephole in your front door so you can see
callers without opening the door.
Ask for proper identification from delivery men or
strangers. Don't be afraid of asking if they are
legitimate they wont mind.
If a stranger asks to use your telephone, offer to
place the call for him/her yourself. Never let a
stranger into your home.
Do not leave notes on your door when you are gone.
and do not hide your keys under the mat or in other
Never give out information over the phone indicating
you are alone or that you won't be home at a certain
When you are gone for more than a day. make sure
your home looks and sounds occupied - use an
automatic timer to turn on lights and a radio or TV.
While you're out...
Carry your purse very close to you - don’t dangle it
from your arm. Also, never leave your purse in a
Don’t carry any more cash than is necessary. Many
grocery stores now accept checks and automatic
teller cards instead of cash.
Avoid walking alone at night. Try to have a friend
accompany you in high risk areas even during the
Do not carry weapons - they may only be used against
Have your paychecks or government checks sent
directly to your bank account many banks have senior
Never withdraw money from your hank accounts for
anyone except YOURSELF. Be wary of con artists and
get-rich schemes that probably are too good to be t
In your car...
Keep your gas tank full and your engine properly
maintained to avoid breakdowns.
Always lock your car doors. Even when you’re inside
and keep your windows rolled up. Driving with the
windows closed also improves gas mileage.
Lock packages and other valuables in the trunk. Do
not leave them on the back seat or on the floor of
the car where potential thieves can see them.
When you return to your car. always check the front
and back seat before you get in.
Never pick up hitchhikers.
If your car breaks down. Pull over to the right as
far as possible. Raise the hood, and wait inside the
car for help. Do not get out of the car or unroll
the window until the police arrive.
If you are a victim at home…
If you arrive at home and suspect a stranger may be
inside, DON'T GO IN. Leave quietly and call 911 to
report the crime.
If you are attacked on the street, make as much
noise as possible by calling for help or blowing a
whistle. Do not pursue your attacker. Call 911 and
report the crime as soon as possible.
If you have been swindled or conned, report the
crime to your local police or District Attorney's
Office. Con artists count on their victim's
reluctance to admit they’ve been duped, but if you
delay, you help them get away. Remember, if you
never report the crime, they are free to cheat
others again and again and you have no chance of
ever getting your money back.
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Crime prevention tips for the
Disabled persons face many physical challenges. This
could make them vulnerable to would-be assailants who
assume the disabled are incapable of protecting
If you are a disabled person, or know someone who is,
the following information may be helpful. Take your time
to read and remember these tips. You may be able to
prevent yourself or a friend from becoming a victim of a
General Crime Prevention Tips
Know and avoid situations and locations that could
invite crime, i.e., dark alleys, unlit parking lots,
Decide what you plan to do in the event you are
confronted, i.e., show confidence; scream, etc.
Consider your options in these situations and
practice your responses often so that can recall
them in a real situation.
Home Security Tips
Consider having a peephole installed in your doors.
Make sure you have the proper locks on doors and
windows and use them while you are at home as well
as when you are out.
Never open the door for a stranger. Always demand
verification of the stranger's identity and the
purpose of the visit.
Never tell a stranger calling by phone that you are
alone or that you are disabled.
Plan an avenue of escape from each room in your
residence to use in case of emergency, such as a
break-in or a disaster.
Consumer Protection Tips
Always ask for identification from all solicitors
and call their agency for verification.
Don't commit yourself to purchases or charitable
donations over the phone. Ask the caller to mail the
information to you so you can make an informed
decision. If your are not familiar with the company
or organization, consult the State Department of
Consumer Affairs or the Better Business Bureau.
Be sure to read and understand all contracts before
you sign them. If your sight is impaired, have
someone you trust read the entire document to you.
Beware of anyone who is offering products or
services at a "once in lifetime" offer.
Consider having your checks mailed directly to your
bank to avoid mail theft or robbery.
Whenever possible, travel with someone you know.
There is safety in numbers.
Leave word of your plans with family including your
ultimate destination and estimated time of return.
When waiting for a bus, train, etc., wait in a
centralized location near other passengers.
When riding the bus, sit as near to the driver as
possible, particularly during late hours.
Keep your handbags and packages on your lap instead
of the floor or the seat next to you.
Consider using travelers checks instead of carrying
Be aware of those around you, particularly when
exiting a bus or train.
If you have a speech or hearing impairment, always
carry a card of communication symbols.
If You Become a Victim of a Crime...
Try to remember as many details about the assailant
as possible, such as clothing, hair color,
identifiable marks, etc.
Be certain not to destroy any possible evidence.
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Did You Know... In Indiana, it is a crime for any person
to threaten, beat, sexually assault or otherwise harm
another person, even IF they are married.
Domestic violence is more than just a "family
problem" - it's a crime!
Battering in not exclusively a crime against women.
but they do constitute the majority of victims; thus
this publication is primarily directed to the
battered wife or woman.
Although we have few statistics on the incidence of
domestic violence we do know that
Approximately 30 percent of female homicide victims
in the United States are killed by their husbands or
Females are much more likely than males to be killed
by their spouse.
Domestic violence affects at least one out of every
four American families
From 1973 to 1981 the United States Department of
Justice Statistical reports show that 2.2 million
women reported abuse by a mate.
Why Do They Stay?
The most frequently asked question concerning a
battering situation is why does she stay? While reasons
cover the range from children. love. guilt. tear. pride.
embarrassment financial dependence - or a combination
thereof - it is very possible the woman is unaware that
she may be locked into a violence cycle.
Three-Phase Theory of Family Violence
The family violence cycle consists of three phases; the
tension building phase, the acute-battering incident,
and the loving reconciliation.
During this phase the woman senses her mate’s
increasing tension. He is "edgy" and perhaps
challenges her and tells her she is stupid,
incompetent, etc. The woman may internalize her
appropriate anger at the man’s unfairness and
experience physical effects such as depression,
tension, anxiety and headaches. As the tension in
the relationship increases, minor episodes and
violence increase, such as pinching, slapping, or
During the last phase of the family violence cycle.
both parties have a sense of relief that "It’s
over." The man is often genuinely sorry for what
happened and is fearful that his partner will leave
him. He apologizes and may "shower" her with love
and praise that helps her repair her shattered
self-esteem. He tells her he can't live without her,
so she feels responsible for his well-being and
guilty for her actions and blames herself for what
led up to the abuse.
Increasing Spiral of Violence
Once violence has begun. it continues to increase in
both frequency and severity. Understanding the
psychological consequences of her violent relationship
can help the woman take power and choose constructive
alternatives, as well as aid those who intervene to help
If you become a Victim of Domestic Violence
Call the Sheriff's Department
Make sure you are safe from another beating.
Whenever you believe you are in danger, leave your
home and take your children with you. Also take
important papers such as your birth certificate,
vehicle registration, etc.
Get medical attention. Don’t try to treat yourself;
you may be injured much more seriously than you
Seek assistance. Whether or not you file charges
against your batterer, you may need to talk to a
professional about your situation. Contact your
local battered women's shelter, women's support
group or victims' assistance center.
Save all the evidence (proof) you can. (You may even
want to take photographs of your injuries.) Whether
or not you file charges now, you may later change
your mind and will need proof that you have been
A Way Out
Everyone has the right to be safe from threats and
beatings -- but you must take that first step. Once you
recognize that it Isn't your fault and it is possible to
change your situation, seek the help you need to correct
Center 3107 Cascade Dr, Valparaiso, IN (800) 933-0466 or
24 Hour Information/Referral/Crisis Line
Provides services and shelter for victims of domestic
violence and sexual assault and their dependent children
who live in Porter, Lake and Starke Counties. There is
no charge for the services. Clients do not have to live
in the shelter.
2967 Willowcreek Road, Portage,
IN (219) 762-1177 9:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M. Monday-Friday
Offers an eight-session domestic violence program. The
subject areas include communication, anger, violence
cycle, assertiveness vs. aggression, stress management,
and childhood influences.
Northwest Indiana Family Life Skill Center
6450 Evergreen Avenue, Portage, IN (219) 763-3256
people involved in abusive relationships understand and
break the cycle. Separate 15-week classes are offered
for men and women.
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A MAJOR ISSUE
Senior citizens currently represent four and a half
percent of California's population. By the year 2020.
over 16 percent of the state's population will be 60
years of age or older. Many of these people will retire
comfortably and lead happy and robust lives. However,
many of America's elderly are not experiencing the
relaxation of retired life. Many are being physically.
psychologically or financially exploited - some by
strangers, some by acquaintances and some even by their
own family members. Gerontologists consider this type of
exploitation to be elder abuse.
Elder abuse crosses all social, economic and ethnic
lines - any elderly person could become a victim. It is
important to become aware of the possibility of elder
abuse and to be able to recognize signs that might
suggest its occurrence. This awareness will enable us
to help neighbors, friends or family members who may be
TYPES OF ABUSE
Abuse of the elderly usually falls into the following
The example cases that follow outline typical
characteristics of elder abuse. Although they are
hypothetical, they do include aspects of actual reported
Joan is an 84-year-old widow who was living with her
grandniece. Her home environment was clean and in a
nice rural setting, however, the landlord often
noticed bruises on Joan's face and arms. Suspecting
abuse, he immediately notified County Adult
Protective Services (APS). After assessing the
situation, the APS investigator found that Joan had
been beaten and slapped by her grandniece. APS
removed Joan from the grandniece's care and placed
her with a new caretaker.
Alex is a 77-year-old man who had his house cleaned
twice a week by a neighbor-hood volunteer. When a
next door neighbor did not see Alex come out of the
house for several weeks she suspected something was
wrong so she notified the county sheriff's
department Sheriff's investigators discovered that
the volunteer cleaning person had often isolated
Alex in a room and verbally abused him. The mailer
was referred to APS, who helped Alex find a new
Eighty-one-year-old Mitsuko is a recent widow and
was residing alone in her home. A friend suggested
she allow a college student to move in with her as a
boarder to help pay for expenses. Soon after, the
student allowed two of his friends to move in
without offering to pay Mitsuko any additional rent
Next door neighbors, who regularly kept an eye on
Mitauko, became worried when they noticed groups of
young people coming and going from the house at all
hours. They phoned the city police department to
report the matter. Police investigators found that
the students had threatened Mitsuko and had used her
automated bank teller card to withdraw large sums of
money. The students were arrested and Mitauko is
once again living alone.
Fortunately. most older persons do not experience
this type of treatment Nevertheless, elder abuse is
a frightening and real issue. Knowing what to look
for and who to contact if you 8uspect abuse, will
help you do your part to correct the situation. By
being alert to situations that could lead to abuse
of an elderly person, you may be able to prevent a
serious injury or even save a life.
If you live with and/or care for an elderly person,
you know that the responsibility can be overwhelming
at times. One way to cope is to be sure to take time
away from your responsibilities on a regular basis.
This will help to alleviate stress and the potential
for abuse and give you a chance to put every-thing
law mandates elder care custodians, medical and non
medical practitioners or employees of elder protective
agencies to report suspected abuse. The following is a
list of elder protective agencies that you can contact
if you are uncertain about reporting suspected abuse:
The State Department of Social Services
A county probation department
A county welfare department
A police or sheriff's department
A nursing home ombudsman
Remember, one alert person can make a difference
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Family Violence Reduction
Beyond Burglary Prevention
Neighborhood Watch is not a new concept - in fact it
has become one of society's most effective tools to
reduce residential burglary.
Neighborhood Watch is very simple - neighbors get to
know each other and work together in a program of
mutual assistance. They are trained to recognize and
report suspicious activities in their neighborhoods.
But Neighborhood Watch can do much more than just
help reduce theft and burglary.
Now neighbors are being taught to detect another
kind of residential crime family violence.
What Is Family Violence?
Family violence consists of abuse -physical or mental -
of children, adults or seniors in a familial setting.
Family violence is broken down into three major
categories: child abuse, battered women, and elderly
victimization. It is not uncommon that if one type of
abuse is occurring within a home, other abuse may be (or
soon will be) taking place.
Through family violence reduction information, you can
To recognize signs of abuse
How to contact family - help agencies; and
How to help prevent family violence and abuse.
Does not mean physical intervention. It does not mean
snooping on your neighbors. It simply means a
willingness to help by recognizing the obvious signs -
the continuously injured child, the couple who becomes
involved in physical confrontations, or the long -term,
unexplained absence of the senior living next door.
How to Start a Neighborhood Watch/Family Violence
1. Contact our Public Relations & Education
Department and ask them to assist you in developing
a Neighborhood Watch Program.
2. Contact your local child abuse council, battered
women's shelter, family service center, etc., to
arrange for speakers at Neighborhood Watch meetings
on the programs and the services they provide. They
can also provide you with printed material or assist
you in locating it.
3. Plan your Neighborhood Watch Program Meetings to
cover each family violence category (child abuse,
battered women & elderly victimization).
4. Develop and print a list of agencies which
provide emergency assistance to abused children,
battered women and victimized elderly. Distribute
this list to all of the members of your Neighborhood
5. Encourage your Neighborhood Watch members to
start Block Parent groups and support prevention
programs for children in the schools, scouting
programs, churches, etc.
Help stop family violence
Family violence prevention information in a Neighborhood
Watch setting is a new concept. It needs your support.
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OPPORTUNISTS- THEY WANT THE EASY HIT. IF THEY WANTED TO WORK, THEY’D HAVE A JOB!
BUSY, WELL LIT SECTION OF THE PARKING LOT
BEFORE YOU GET OUT
EXIT, WALK WITH CONFIDENCE!
MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH PEOPLE WHO APPROACH
WHILE IN THE
LOT, KEEP YOUR KEYS IN YOUR HAND
NAME OR ADDRESS ON KEY RING
UNDER YOUR ARM
CARDS RATHER THAN CASH
OUT OF SIGHT
IF YOU ARE A
DON’T RESIST!!- ROBBERS WANT STUFF NOT YOU
DEFENSIVE SPRAY IS MIXTURE OF CS/OC
CALL 911 FROM
SCENE, NOT WHEN YOU GET HOME
LEAVE SCENE WITH BAD GUY
WHILE YOU ARE
AWAY FROM HOME
HOUSE.- ˝ OF BURGLARS JUST WALK IN!
HOME LOOK AND SOUND OCCUPIED
PLAN TO BE
KNOW YOUR ITINERARY
CHARGED CELL PHONE WITH YOU
USE YOUR INSTINCTS!
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Marine theft is on the rise. But there are many things
you can do to discourage waterway pirates. The following
tips can help guard your boat and gear from theft.
Strength and durability are the keys to security
Install inside hinges and dead bolt locks on all
Secure ports and windows with inside auxiliary
Attach inverted strong hasps and padlocks to all
Inscribe all valuables, (including electronic
equipment, your engine, sails, radios, binoculars,
and other loose gear) with your name, your home
port, your Indiana driver's license number (preceded
by the letters "IN"), and your hull identification
Keep an inventory list (ashore) of all your gear.
Include name, model, serial number, manufacturer and
Never leave your keys aboard even in a "hidden
Always moor your boat to something secure with a
chain or cable that cannot be lifted over or torn
loose from the piling or mooring.
Run the chain or cable around and under a thwart or
around a stanchion.
Use one-way bolts, lock nuts, and backup plates on
your eye bolts.
Consider leaving your engine out of commission when
you are away: remove the rotor; install a hidden
cut-off switch; drain the fuel; remove a spark plug
or the propeller.
Secure outboard motors with special transom bolts or
clamping screw locks.
A good neighbor is one of the best crime prevention
Get to know the people and boat owners where you
dock, and look out for one another.
Insist on good night lighting at your marina.
Let each other know if anyone will be using your
boat when you are not present.
If you spot anything suspicious on any boat, call
If you are a victim…
Call your local law enforcement agency. They can
respond quickly and will alert other units including
the Coast Guard as needed.
Give the officer a complete description of what was
stolen. (The hull identification number of your
boat, year, model, CF registration number, etc.)
Law enforcement officials claim that boat owners' apathy
and ignorance of crime prevention techniques are prime
causes of increased marine theft. As captain of your
craft, take command - secure your boat; mark your
equipment and gear; take the watch and be on the alert
for the waterway pirates.
Special thanks extended to the United States Coast Guard
and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for
information on this section.
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The Porter Co. Sheriff’s Dept. wants to remind the
public that snowmobiles that operate on the traveled
portion of public highways in Porter Co. must be
registered with the Porter County Sheriff’s Police.
At the time the snowmobile is registered with the
Porter County Sheriff′s Police, evidence of existence of
an in-force policy of insurance covering personal
property damage in the amount of twenty-five thousand
dollars ($25,000.00) and personal liability in the
amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00)
must be presented to the Porter County Sheriff′s police.
Also, a state snowmobile registration card must be
presented. A new weather resistant registration sticker
will be provided and must be attached to the vehicle.
The penalty for failure to properly register your
vehicle is a $50.00 citation.
You may come to the Sheriff’s Dept. Monday thru Friday
from 8am – 4pm (except holidays)
For the complete county code for snowmobiles go to
For information for obtaining a state snowmobile
registration go to
Avoid camping alone in isolated areas.
Park your vehicle so it cannot be blocked by another
vehicle in case of emergency.
Familiarize yourself with local emergency locations
and phone numbers in case of accidents or crime.
Avoid leaving your camping gear (cook stove,
lantern, ice chest, chairs, etc.) Out in the open
Get to know your camping neighbors - and help
protect each other's belongings.
Avoid walking alone at night.
Carry a spare lock so you can use storage containers
available at many parks. Use a chain and lock to
secure propane tanks, extra fuel tanks, portable
generators, spare tires, bicycles, etc.
Always lock your camping trailer when you leave the
Install a locking device on the trailer towing
hitch, so your trailer cannot be towed away.
Before taking weapons with you, be aware of the
regulations. In many parks and wildlife refuges, it
is against the law to carry weapons.
Report any suspicious activities and all crimes to
the proper authorities - in parks, the park rangers;
on private land, the sheriff or police.
Never overload your boat beyond recommended
Never leave your keys aboard - even in a "hidden"
Always moor your boat with a chain or cable. use a
good lock and secure the cable/chain around
something that cannot be moved or that will not
allow the cable/chain to be lifted over it or torn
Secure outboard motors with special transom bolts or
clamping screw locks.
Consider leaving your engine out of commission when
you are away remove the rotor; install a hidden
cutoff switch; drain the fuel; remove a spark plug
or the propeller.
Before leaving your boat moored, secure all
removable items. Never leave fishing equipment
If it's not possible to park your vehicle within
eyesight of your group, leave it some place where it can
be watched by park patrols or someone you know; or
arrange for someone to drop you off and pick you up
later. Other prevention techniques are:
If you must leave valuables in your vehicle, place
them in the trunk - not under the front seat or
hidden under clothing. (Be cautious that you are not
being observed when putting valuables in your
Install a locking hood latch. n Install an alarm
device in your vehicle which will activate a siren,
horn or lights to frighten thieves away. n Equip
your vehicle with locking lug nuts to prevent your
wheels from being stolen.
Install a battery locking device to prevent the
battery from being stolen.
Mark Your Property!
Like your TV, VCR, stereo and other belongings at home,
camping equipment is also vulnerable to theft,
especially when left in the open. Mark all your
belongings with your California driver license number,
and keep a record of equipment.
Mark your tent, sleeping bags and clothing with
Engrave your food locker, thermos, coolers, lamps
and flashlights - and don't forget fishing poles,
tackle boxes, backpacks, barbecue grills, snorkels
Be sure everyone in your party is aware of
park/campground rules and regulations.
When hiking, backpacking or cross-country skiing,
notify the ranger or campground host of your plans,
including the trails you are taking, the expected
time of your return and the name of a friend or
relative to be notified in case of an emergency.
Consider having everyone carry a whistle to use in
case of an emergency.
Never let children wander off by themselves or leave
them unattended near a body of water.
If you are being annoyed by a discourteous person,
report the person to the police or park ranger.
You Can Help!
Remember, parks and wilderness areas are for everyone's
use. Be sure to pick up your litter and extinguish all
fires, so that we can preserve the natural beauty of our
parks. Report any acts of vandalism and any suspicious
activity you witness to park rangers.
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PREVENTING SEXUAL ASSAULT
Know the facts about rape...
Rape is a violent crime - a hostile attack-an attempt to
hurt and humiliate. It is NOT the result of
Rape can happen to anyone. Students, working women,
wives, mothers, children, grandmothers, and even males
are the victims of rape.
Rape can occur anywhere and at any time, in public or in
your own home, day or night.
Rapists are not necessarily strangers. In fact, in over
one-third of reported cases, the rapist is an
acquaintance, neighbor, friend or relative of the
Rape is one of the most underreported crimes. The
majority of rapists continue until caught. So report any
kind of sexual assault.
The tips in this brochure are designed to increase your
odds against sexual assault. The more you know about
rape prevention, the better your chances are of never
becoming a victim.
First, know the facts about rape. Become aware of
locations and situations where rape might occur and
avoid them, if possible.
Consider your alternatives if confronted by a rapist.
Practice possible responses so that you can recall them
even under the stress of a real encounter.
Safety at home
Many rapes occur in or near the victim's home. One of
the best ways to prevent sexual assault is to practice
good home security.
Install effective locks on all doors and windows-and USE
Install a peephole viewer in your door, NEVER open your
door without knowing who is on the other side. Require
salespeople or repair people to show identification.
If you live alone, use only your last name and initials
on mail boxes and in telephone directories.
If strangers telephone or come to your door, don't admit
that you are alone.
Don't let any strangers into your home-no matter what
the reason or how dire the emergency is supposed to be.
Offer to make an emergency phone call while they wait
If you live in an apartment avoid being in the laundry
room or garage by yourself, especially at night.
If you come home and find a door or window open or signs
of forced entry, DON'T GO IN! Go to the nearest phone
and call the police or sheriff.
Don't walk into danger
Be alert to your surroundings and the people around
you-especially if you are alone or it is dark. Know
where help may be if you should need it.
Whenever possible, travel with a friend.
Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace on the
side of the street facing traffic. A rapist looks for
someone who appears vulnerable.
Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and
alleys where rapists can hide.
If you think you are being followed, walk quickly to
areas where there are lights and people. If a car
appears to be following you, turn and walk in the
opposite direction, or walk on the other side of the
If you are in danger, scream and run, or yell 'fire."
Keep your car in good working order and the gas tank at
least half full.
Always lock car doors after entering or leaving your
Park in well-lighted areas.
Have your car keys in your hand and check the back seat
area before entering your car.
If you think you are being followed, drive to a public
place or to a police or sheriff's station.
If your car breaks down, turn on your flashers, open the
hood, attach a white cloth to the car antenna, and wait
inside your car with the doors locked. If someone stops
to help, stay in your car and ask them to call the
police a garage or a tow service for you.
Carrying weapons for self-defense is controversial and
sometimes illegal. BE SAFE - for more information,
contact the Sheriff's Department.
If you are attacked...Remember, your main concern must
always be YOUR SAFETY. No one can tell you whether you
should fight back, submit, or resist. IT DEPENDS ON YOU
AND THE SITUATION.
Keep assessing the situation as it is happening. If one
strategy doesn't work1 try another. Possible options
are: negotiating, stalling for time, distracting the
assailant and fleeing to a safe place, verbal
assertiveness, screaming to attract attention, or
physical resistance. You best defense, however, is to BE
PREPARED - know your options ahead of time. Your safety
may depend upon your ability to stay cool and calm.
If you are a victim of rape...
Go to a safe place immediately and call the police,
sheriff, a rape crisis center, doctor, friend or
relative. The sooner you make the report, the greater
the chances the attacker will be caught.
Do not wash, douche, change clothes or clean up in any
way until after talking to the police and going to the
hospital. You could destroy valuable evidence for court
Remember, you are the victim. You have nothing to feel
guilty or ashamed about. You may want to contact a
treatment or crisis center to help you deal with the
consequences of the assault.
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Preventing Arson and Vandalism
What can you do?
Many of the same precautions taken to discourage
burglars may also discourage arsonists and vandals. By
taking a few preventive steps, you can help curb these
Improve general security
Secure all doors, windows, skylights - especially
entrances on alleys.
Install an alarm system Don't allow landscaping to
provide camouflage or hiding places.
Keep the building windows visible and well-lighted.
Keep your property well-lighted at night.
Be watchful of strangers and immediately report
suspicious actions near homes, schools, vacant
buildings, businesses or other structures.
Ask your neighbor to help keep watch over your
business while you are away.
Add fire prevention
Install smoke alarms, automatic and tamper-proof
sprinklers, and other fire safety equipment.
Clear your premises of fuel sources such as yard
trimmings, newspapers, leftover paint, old rags and
Keep storage and other infrequently visited areas
Secure flammables in a locked, fire-resistant
Dispose of all flammable waste materials as quickly
as possible. (Check with local authorities for
approved methods of disposal).
Establish frequent and regular fire patrols.
Maintain an efficient emergency plan program.
Educate employees about arson prevention program.
Remember... It is very difficult to catch an arsonist.
Cooperation between citizens and government agencies is
a key weapon against arson.
Report any information you have that would help in
the investigation of arson-suspected fires.
Protect property you own or occupy from would-be
Support efforts to investigate, apprehend, and
If you have information which may help apprehend an
arsonist, call your local law enforcement agency.
Most vandalism occurs in the evenings and on weekends so
set up prevention techniques accordingly.
Post anti-vandalism signs as a deterrent.
Schedule custodial crews at night.
Provide a means of incentive for reporting
Keep local law enforcement agencies informed about
acts of vandalism to your property
Repair damage promptly. The sooner you repair
vandalism, the less chance there will be more
Encourage community participation... Newspapers, radio
and television are good methods of mobilizing the
community to be concerned and watch for vandalism and
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Robbery Make it Risky
Robbery...It is a crime "against the person" and a
frightening experience. It can result in injury or even
death to the victim.
It is important to remember, in protecting your business
from robbery, to take preventive measures and make it
obvious that those measures have been taken.
Here are some ways to discourage robbery:
Lock unused doors.
Avoid working alone. If you must, turn on a hidden
radio or TV so robbers will think there is someone
Vary the schedule and route for your bank deposits
each day, only keeping necessary cash in the drawer.
Then, if you are robbed, you'll reduce your losses.
Make sure your cash register is clearly visible to
passers-by. Arrange the counter so that the customer
- or robber - is visible from the street.
Avoid placing signs or displays near windows which
block visibility from the street.
Record the serial number of the bottom bill in each
bin of the cash drawer, and instruct employees not
to use these bills in making change.
Keep "bait" money in a spare compartment of cash
registers. The bait packet should be separated by
face value as other bills. Keep a list of the serial
and series year numbers to give to law enforcement
officials if you are robbed.
If your business runs an exceptionally high risk of
robbery, you may want to invest in a bulletproof
cashier screen. A screen "defuses" the robber's
threat, but other prevention measures may be equally
effective at lower cost.
Display signs at entrances and exits indicating that
safes require secondary keys not in possession of
Advertise your security alarm system with signs in
Develop a mutual aid system among stores on your
block. Agree to keep an eye on each other's
buildings and watch for any suspicious activities.
Install "buddy buzzer" alarms so you can signal your
neighbor to call the police if you are being robbed.
Place colored tape markers at exits, at heights of 5
feet 6 inches and 6 feet. Then, if you are robbed,
you can get an accurate estimate of the suspect's
height as he leaves.
A robbery may be over In less than a minute. You need a
quick eye to get a good look at the robber. That's why
stores in some cities are placing hidden cameras behind
If a robbery happens… Someone points a gun at you and
demands your money. What do you do? Give it to him.
Never refuse a robber!
If you have a silent alarm and can reach it
unnoticed, use it. Otherwise, wait until the robber
leaves. (Use your alarm with care. Excessive false
alarms can cause problems for law enforcement and
If possible, signal other employees. Have a
prearranged signal for such emergencies. Again, if
the robber will see you, wait. Try to avoid sudden
moves. Many robbers are just as nervous as you are.
The most important thing to do if you're robbed:
OBSERVE. The description of the suspect you give to
police may be the only information they have to go
After a robbery...
Call the police immediately - don't waste a minute.
Write down everything you can remember about the
robber and the crime itself: the robber's
appearance; height, weight, color of hair and eyes,
scars, tattoos, accent, anything unusual - and as
much as possible about his clothing, weapon and
mannerisms. Try to remember the robber's exact words
and try to observe any vehicle the robber uses to
Keep everyone away from surfaces the robber may have
Cooperate fully with the law enforcement and
prosecutors. Your help is crucial, so stick with the
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"Vacation is a time for fun and relaxation. Don't let
yours be ruined by crime. Follow the crime prevention
Before leaving…secure your home!!
Have good locks on all doors and windows, AND USE
Leave your trip plans and an emergency phone number
with trusted neighbors or friends
Follow the other tips listed above in Home Security
On the road
Never carry large amounts of cash; use traveler’s
checks. If you must carry large sums of money, do
not display it openly.
Keep a record of traveler’s check numbers and your
credit card numbers in a safe place. Have the
telephone numbers to call in case your checks or
credit cards are lost or stolen.
Be aware of your surroundings and never advertise
your plans to strangers; this includes travel routes
ad the amount of cash you are carrying.
Do not stop to offer help to a stranded motorist. Go
to the nearest phone booth and call for assistance.
If you suspect someone is following you, drive to
the nearest service station, restaurant or business
and call the police or sheriff’s department. If you
believe it is unsafe to get out of your car, honk
your horn and flash your lights to draw attention.
If your car breaks down, raise your hood and attach
a white cloth to the car antenna. If someone stops
to help, it is advisable that you stay in your
locked car and ask them to call the police or a
garage. If you must abandon your car, keep all
Always lock your car when entering or leaving it.
Park in well-lighted, busy areas.
Check the back seat before getting into your car.
Mark your car radio and other removable car
equipment with your Indiana driver’s license number
(preceded by "IN") for identification.
Always lock valuables out of site, preferably in the
trunk. Always carry wallets, checkbooks and purses
Do not advertise that you are a tourist. Place maps
and travel brochures in the glove compartment.
Remember: Planning reduces your chance of becoming the
victim of a crime.
Ask for directions at a hotel/motel on how to get to
those attractions you want to visit.
Select tour guides carefully
Ask if there are any areas in town you should avoid.
Stick to well-lighted main streets and public areas.
Looking lost (stopping and looking at addresses or
staring at street signs) may make you look like an
easy target for crime. If you do get lost, find an
open business and ask for directions.
Only carry with you the cash you will need, and only
If older children go off separately, be sure they
understand the importance of keeping track of time
and returning promptly at appointed hours.
Hotel & Motel Security
When staying overnight at a hotel or motel, remember the
Determine the most direct route to and from your
room, to the fire escapes, elevators, and nearest
When occupying or leaving your room, use all
auxiliary locking devices on your doors and windows.
(you may want to purchase a portable door lock for
Use the door viewer to identify anyone requesting
entry. Open the door only if you are certain the
person has a legitimate reason to enter your room.
If in doubt, call the hotel/motel office.
Unpack and place belongings in the closet and
dresser. Arrange your things so you’ll know if
anything is missing.
Consider locking any electrical appliances (blow
dryers, electric shavers, etc.) in your luggage.
(Suitcases should always be locked so they cannot be
used to carry your property out of your room.)
Never leave money, checks, credit cards or car keys
in the room. Take them with you. Place extra cash,
expensive jewelry or other valuables (furs, gems,
gold, or silver) in the hotel/motel safe.
Report any lost or stolen items to the hotel/motel
management and to the police. Report to the
management any suspicious movements in the corridors
Remember the only way to stop crime is to get involved
in crime prevention
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You Can Help Prevent Car Theft!
Through professional car thieves have entered the field
in increasing numbers, most cars are still taken by
amateurs who can be stopped fairly easily. You can
greatly increase your protection against this type of
crime by taking the following sensible precautions.
An unlocked car is an open invitation to a car
thief. Lock up whenever you leave your car, and take
the keys with you.
Lock the trunk and/or tailgate.
Close all windows - professional thieves have tools
that help unlock cars through a minimum of open
When you park the car, remove CB, tape deck or other
valuable possessions from the car. Do not leave
gift-wrapped packages or cameras lying on the seat
of your car. Lock all valuables in your trunk or
take them with you. If possible, also remove the CB
antenna and stow it in the trunk
Avoid leaving an auto unattended in public parking
lots for an extended period of time. A car is five
times more likely to be stolen from an unattended
lot than from the street or an attended lot. If
possible, park your car in a lot where you don't
have to leave your keys.
Never attach a tag with your name and address to
your key ring. If the keys are lost or stolen, the
tag will lead the thief directly to your car and
your home. If you have to leave your keys with a
parking attendant, only leave the ignition key.
At night, park in well-lighted areas with pedestrian
Whenever possible, turn wheels sharply toward the
curb when parking, making it extra difficult for
thieves to tow your car.
Be sure vent or wind-wing windows are shut tight.
These are favorite means of entry for car thieves.
With an electric engraver, etch your Indiana
Driver's License number preceded by the letters "IN"
on CBs, tape decks and other removable items.
Record your vehicle identification number (located
on a small metal plate on the dashboard of newer
cars) and store it in a safe place.
Use "Anti-Theft" Devices
When buying a car, check the manufacturer’s list of
anti-theft options, such as interior hood and trunk
releases, locking steering columns and others.
Consider the purchase and installation of security
devices, such as:
Interior hood lock and release.
A second ignition switch or "kill switch" which
prevents electrical current from reaching coil
A fuel switch which prevents fuel from reaching the
A locking gas cap.
Locking devices for batteries, wheels, decks, etc.
An alarm device which will activate a siren, horn or
lights - or all three - to frighten the thief away
before he is able to steal your car.
How To Prevent Theft of Other Motor Vehicles
Thefts of snowmobiles, motorcycles, boats and trail
bikes are also increasing. Many of the same precautions
that apply to cars and bicycles also apply to
Lock up and take the keys with you.
Make sure all easy-to-carry items like motors, water
skis and camping gear are locked up before leaving
Vehicles carried on trailers should be secured with
a strong chain and padlock.
When the trailer is not attached to your car, secure
it with a heavy chain and lock to a stationary
Chain your motorcycle or snowmobile to a stationary
object such as a lamppost or sewer grating. Even
when your vehicle is in the garage, use a heavy
chain and padlock that resists conventional steel
Other Anti-Theft Devices
You can buy an alarm for your vehicle that is
mounted behind the license plate, and sounds off if
the vehicle is moved.
Locking steering columns are effective anti-theft
How To Prevent Bicycle Theft
Always chain your bicycle when leaving it - even for
a short time. The chain should be case-hardened, at
least 3/8 inch hick covered with plastic or an inner
tube to prevent scratching the bike's finish. Make
sure you use a sturdy pad-lock. Always chain both
the rear wheel and the frame to a stationary object
in a conspicuous place. If you only chain one wheel
to the other, it can be thrown in a truck and
Never leave your bicycle unlocked. even at home.
Store it indoors or in a locked garage whenever
you're not using it.
Register the serial number, make, model and
description of your bicycle with your local law
enforcement agency. You are more likely to recover a
stolen bike if it has been licensed.
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If you have any questions about the information provided
here, or want to get involved in Neighborhood Watch,
please call 219 477-3000 and speak to our Public
Education Officer Larry LaFlower. This information
has been provided to you by the Porter County Sheriff's Office to help make the community a safer place for
everyone and help in the reduction of crime.