2730 E Andy Devine Av
Kingman, AZ 86401
Phone: (928) 753-2191
Fax: (928) 753-2542
Lobby Hrs: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM (M-F except holidays)
Chief: Robert Devries
Identity Theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America, affecting approximately 900,000 new victims each year! The Kingman Police Department has also experienced this new crime wave. In Arizona it is a class 4 felony to take the identity of another person.
We have been investigating cases wherein the victim's are getting calls from their credit card companies informing them of unusual activity on their accounts. In one case, the suspect called the victims credit card company and with their password asked for the credit card to be mailed to a mail drop in California. The credit card was mailed to that address and the suspect has charged thousands of dollars in Canada. In another case, the suspect has obtained enough personal information about the victims to apply for credit cards in their name to the suspects address. This suspect also was attempting to make identification with the victims information. These are just some ways that identity thieves work. They are also known to open cellular phone service and bank accounts in the victims name. According to the Federal Trade Commission web site on identity theft, they reported a scam wherein a major electronic retail store sent out an E-mail message urging recipients to go to a special Web site and correct the problem by entering their Social Security and credit card numbers. The retail store officials said the company did not send the message and they are now working with the appropriate law enforcement authorities to resolve the problem. You can always check with the company to verify before sending any personal information.
To minimize some risks of becoming a victim follow these guidelines:
Order your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus each year (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion)
Follow up with creditors if your bills do not arrive on time
Shred all personal information before throwing it away. Many thieves can obtain much valuable information by "dumpster diving"
Immediately report a lost or stolen wallet/purse to your local law enforcement agency. If your wallet/purse is lost or stolen, cancel each credit card. Get new cards with new account numbers. Call the fraud departments of the major credit reporting agencies and ask them to put a "fraud alert" on your account. Report the loss to your bank and cancel checking and savings accounts. Get a new ATM card and Personal Identification Number (PIN). Report your missing driver's license to the department of motor vehicles. A side note to your driver's license is that Arizona can use your social security number as your drivers license number. We suggest asking for a different number to help cut down the information a suspect can obtain. Change your locks at your home and to your car if your keys were stolen. Only carry the necessary items in your purse/wallet that you need in your everyday outings. If you are not planning on using a department store credit card, don't carry it with you.
If you've been a victim of identity theft, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Their hotline is 1-877-382-4357 or online at www.consumer.gov/idtheft or their direct Web site is www.ftc.gov.
Much of the information provided in this article can be found by visiting the Federal Trade Commission's Web site.
The Arizona Automobile Theft Authority (AATA) and the Kingman Police Department are working together to combat motor vehicle theft. The "Watch Your Car" program was initiated by the State and it is a voluntary program whereby the vehicle owners enroll their vehicles with the AATA. The vehicle is then entered into a special database, developed and maintained by the AATA, which is directly linked to the Motor Vehicle Division. A Watch Your Car decal is then mailed to the owners to display on the front and rear windows of their vehicle. By displaying the decals, this says to law enforcement officials that their vehicle is not usually in use between the hours of 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM, when the majority of thefts occur. If a police officer notices the vehicle in operation between these hours, they have the authority to pull it over and question the driver.
The Kingman Police Department has noticed a rise in vehicle theft over the past three years. In 2001, 114 vehicles were reported stolen. 2002 had an increase with 140 vehicles stolen. And, this year we expect to surpass that, as to date we have 135 reported stolen. We have also noticed an increase of motorcycle theft, particularly Harley Davidson's.
Vehicle owners can do their part to aid in the prevention of their car by enrolling in the program and always locking your car. Never leave the keys in the vehicle, parking motorcycles in the garage and there are some anti-theft devices that you can purchase to help in the deterring of theft.
If you are interested in enrolling your car in this program, you may pick up the forms at the AZ Motor Vehicle Department or online at www.azwatchyourcar.com
Is your business safe from burglary
The following information is designed to help you fight burglary through a risk management approach. Risk management may be defined as identifying areas of criminal vulnerability, analyzing the potential loss and implementing appropriate security measures at a reasonable cost to your business. An effective business burglary prevention program requires your active interest and concern.
- Consider key control. Are office keys, master keys, safe keys and vehicle keys lying about? Do you know to whom these keys have been issued or entrusted? If management cannot answer these questions, your security risk factor is very high.
- Keep a record of all keys issued. Master keys and extra duplicates should be locked away for safekeeping. When a particular key is needed, everyone must sign for its use.
- Have all keys stamped with the words "DO NOT DUPLICATE".
- Familiarize your employees with your security system and its procedures. Efficient, alert, well informed and understanding employees are necessary to help you to protect your business.
- The address and name of your business should be visible from the street. Use large reflective numbers.
- The entire perimeter of your property should be well fenced if possible.
- When not in use, gates should be secured with good padlocks.
- Electronic gates, alarms, closed circuit televisions, two-way communications and electric-eye gate openers assist in detection and identification of intruders.
- Post warning signs encouraging customers and employees to always lock their unattended vehicles and to lock valuables in the trunk. Valuables left in plain sight attract thieves.
- Deny burglars access to your roof by securing ladders, pallets, boxes, and crates away from your building.
- Property belonging to your business that must be stored outside your main building should be protected from view and theft by placing property in a locked storage shed.
- Deny burglars a place to hide by keeping grass and shrubs trimmed and debris cleared away from your property.
- Alarms are an excellent deterrent to would be burglars. Place stickers on doors and windows advising all who enter that the building is alarmed.
How to prevent and deal with shoplifting
Train your employees to be courteous and alert. A thief who thinks that he or she is being watched is less likely to steal. Take steps to prevent shoplifting. It's easier and safer to prevent shoplifting than it is to deal with a shoplifter. Know the signs of shoplifting. Watch for someone who:
- Seems nervous.
- Avoids eye contact.
- Wanders around the store without buying anything.
- Leaves the store and returns to your business repeatedly in a short period of time.
- Stays in an area of your business where he or she is hard to see.
- Keeps watching you or is constantly looking around.
Use simple measures to discourage shoplifting. For example:
- Stay alert at all times.
- Be friendly and polite to all customers.
- Ask customers if they need help.
- Keep your business neat, clean and orderly.
- Know where shoplifting is most likely to occur in your business.
Know what to do if shoplifting occurs. Play it safe.
- Never accuse anyone of stealing.
- Never try to physically stop a shoplifter.
- Never lock the door to keep a shoplifter from leaving.
- Never chase a shoplifter out of your place of business.
- Remain at least an arm's length away from the shoplifter.
Give the person a chance to pay or put back the item. Be sure to know what was taken and where the customer hid it. Then politely ask the person a question, such as:
- Are you ready to pay?
- Would you like a bag for that item? (Name the item taken.)
Follow your instincts. Don't continue to confront a shoplifter if you start to feel frightened or uneasy. Get help when it's safe to do so. Call the police if you sense a threat of violence. Your personal safety is always more important. Use a log or some other method to share suspicions of shoplifting with your co-workers. When merchandise is displayed neatly in standard groups, three to four items per display, sales personnel can notice what is missing quickly. Place small expensive items in secure display cases close to sales personnel. A counter near an exit is an easy target for "grab and run" thieves. Display signs announcing that "shoplifters" will be prosecuted, and cooperate with the police and the prosecutor.
How to deal with problem customers
From time to time you may have to deal with problem customers. Being prepared for difficult situations will help you deal with them. Know what kinds of situations you may face. They include:
- Racial slurs
- Challenges Stares
- Bad language
- Repeated questions
- Sexual advances
Violence may occur without warning. But it often occurs with harassment and intimidation. A person may turn to violence as a last resort. Some suggestions to help you avoid trouble:
- Be polite and friendly to all customers.
- Notice customers as they enter the store. Look for signs that customers are upset or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Learn to recognize customers who are likely to cause trouble.
- Stay calm. Listen to each customer and respond in a calm voice.
- Try to steer the customer's anger away from you. For example, if the person is angry because you can't sell her or him a beer, explain that you are just obeying the law.
- Encourage customers who are angry or upset to call the business owner or manager.
- Don't react to a customer's anger with anger, or trade insults.
- Don't take a customer's complaints personally.
- Don't "talk down" to a customer.
- Don't try to physically stop or hold a customer.
What should you do if you feel in danger of being attacked? Trust your gut feeling. You can often tell if a person is dangerous. He or she may seem to:
- Get angry quickly
- Be about to explode
- Be looking for a fight.
Plan on how to escape. It is important that you be able to get away from a dangerous situation. Make sure to:
- Think about the escape routes in advance.
- Keep some distance between you and the person.
- Try to prevent the person from getting between you and the door.
- Get help as soon as possible. Call the police. If you need to, leave your place of business as soon as possible and go for help.
What to do before, during and after a robbery
Every business owner, manager and employee plays a part in making businesses safe. Here are some things you can do to help prevent robbery:
- Have at least two employees open and close the business.
- Do not release personal information to strangers.
- Keep purses and personal valuables locked in desks or lockers.
- Install a robbery alarm.
- Place a surveillance camera behind the cash register facing the front counter. Replace videotapes regularly.
- Vary times and routes of travel for bank deposits.
- Don't use marked "moneybags" that make it obvious to would-be robbers you are carrying money for deposit.
- Keep a low balance in the cash register.
- Place excess money in a safe or deposit it as soon as possible.
- Cooperate with the robber for your own safety and the safety of others. Comply with a robber's demands. Remain calm and think clearly. Make mental notes of the robber's physical description and other observations important to law enforcement officers.
- If you have a silent alarm and can reach it without being noticed, use it. Otherwise, wait until the robber leaves.
- Be careful, most robbers are just as nervous as you are.
- Keep your business neat and clean. A tidy, orderly place of business is inviting to customers, but not to robbers. Dressing neatly also sends the right message.
- Stay alert! Know who is in your business and where they are. Watch for people who hang around without buying anything. Also, be aware of suspicious activity outside your place of business. Write down license numbers of suspicious vehicles if visible from the inside of your business.
- Make sure the sales counter can be seen clearly. Don't put up advertisements, flyers, displays, signs, posters or other items on windows or doors that might obstruct the view of the register from inside or outside your business. The police cruising by your store need to see in.
- Try to greet customers as they enter your business. Look them in the eye, and ask them if they need help. Your attention can discourage a robber.
- Keep your business well-lit, inside and outside. Employees should report any burned-out lights to the business owner or manager.
- Keep trees and bushes trimmed, so they don't block any outdoor lights.
- Encourage the police to stop by your business.
- Learn the names of the officers who patrol your business.
- Use care after dark. Be cautious when cleaning the parking lot or taking out the trash at night. Make sure another employee inside the business keeps you within eye contact while you are involved in work details outside of your building.
- If you see something suspicious, call the police. Never try to handle it yourself. It could cost you your life.
- Handle cash carefully. Avoid making your business a tempting target for robbers. Keep the amount of cash in registers low. Drop all large bills right away. If a customer tries to pay with a large bill, politely ask if he or she has a smaller one. Explain that you keep very little cash on hand.
- Use only one register at night. Leave other registers empty and open. Tilt the register drawer to show there is no money in it.
- Leave blinds and drapes partially open during closing hours.
- Make sure important signs stay posted. For example, the front door should bear signs that say, "Clerk Cannot Open the Time Lock Safe."
- If your business is robbed put your safety first. Your personal safety is more important than money or merchandise.
Don't talk except to answer the robber's questions,
- Don't stare directly at the robber.
- Prevent surprises, keep your hands in sight at all times.
- Don't make any sudden moves.
- Tell the robber if someone is coming out of the back room or vault or working in another area of your business.
- Don't chase or follow the robber out of your place of business.
- Leave the job of catching the robber to the police.
After the Robbery
- Lock your business.
- Ask any witnesses to stay until the police arrive.
- Call the police and remain on the line.
- Call your business owner, manager, or other designated person.
- Call the security hotline, if applicable.
- Don't touch anything the robber may have touched.
- Write down a description of the robber and the weapon as soon as you are able.