- Police Department
- Crime Prevention
REMINDER: To help prevent vehicle break-ins and thefts remember: HIDE... LOCK... TAKE.
With warm weather in full effect, APD would like to remind everyone of these theft prevention tips...
• Lock your vehicle. Yes, it takes seconds to break a window, but doing so makes noise – and criminals hate making noise. Also, criminals may still break the window of an unlocked car door (to prevent windows from being broken) anyway, expecting the vehicle to be locked.
• Hide valuables from sight, or, even better, take items with you. If a criminal doesn’t see anything, they’re less likely to break in, and will go to the next vehicle and window shop. Remember to hide valuables BEFORE you park in the place you’re leaving your vehicle. If a criminal sees you put a laptop or other item in the trunk, they may break into the trunk when you leave. Same advice for putting property under a seat. If a criminal sees you reaching under a seat, they’ll assume something is under there, and break in, looking for property.
• Park in areas that are not secluded. Well-lit parking lots, with good “sight lines”, make it more likely your vehicle is visible to the general public. Remember, criminals don’t like witnesses.
• Record serial numbers of property you may leave inside your vehicle. If stolen, it makes it more likely the suspect, if he tries to pawn it, will be identified. You can take a picture of the item and make, model and serial number information with your cell-phone and have it handy if needed.
• Criminals watch drivers and “case” parking lots looking for opportunities. If you see anyone loitering in public parking lots, walking from car to car, repeatedly pulling on car door handles or anything else suspicious call 911 immediately and report it to the police.
There is no 100% fool-proof way to prevent all crime. You can make yourself less likely to be a victim by following the above tips, and by using common sense. Simply locking your vehicle and removing property from inside is half the battle.
APD Scam Alert
APD reminds residents to be vigilant against phone and email scams and not give out any personal information or make payment arrangements over the phone or internet unless you have verified the other party is legitimate.
If you receive a call from an unknown or private number, it’s best to ignore it and let it go to voicemail. A live person answering these scammers sometimes encourages them to keep calling. Always make sure you’re absolutely sure you know who you’re dealing with over the phone or internet before committing any money, payments or personal information.
Residents with questions or concerns about phone scams can contact the Ashland Police Department at 804-798-1227.
Preventing Identity TheftIf your wallet, purse or personal identity information has been stolen or lost consider the following steps to protect yourself:
- Identify what was in your wallet. Consider all cards and information, not just credit cards and identification. Was your Social Security card or number in your wallet?
- Place a fraud alert with each credit reporting agency if your social security number or credit/debit cards are involved:
- Monitor your credit report and review it for unauthorized account openings or any fraudulent address information. Contact any unrecognized creditors for any unauthorized accounts immediately.
- Contact all credit issuers to request replacement cards with new account numbers.
- Monitor bills for any fraudulent activity on any accounts.
- If you have lost a check cashing card, checkbook, savings account information or debit (ATM) cards, close the account and open a new account with a new number.
- Password protect all compromised accounts so that additional names and addresses cannot be added without authorization.
- Keep a log of all correspondence and conversations. Keep copies of correspondence.
- If your driver’s license was stolen, go to Virginia DMV for information on replacing it.
- If you think you have become a victim of identity theft go to the Virginia Attorney General's Website for resources from the Virginia Attorney General’s Office on how to prevent further damage.
- If you have lost a supermarket club card, cancel the card and request a new one.
- For all other lost/missing information, including library or video rental cards or any other cards with membership or insurance coverage information, contact the issuing company, notify them of the loss and request a new card.
Prescription Drug Disposal
Looking for a way to dispose of old and unneeded prescription medications safely between Drug Take-Back Events? Bremo Pharmacy in Richmond is an approved medication take-back site. For more information click here for Bremo's website or call (804) 288-8361.
APD plans to host Coffee with a Cop meetings regularly to build partnerships in our community.
Please contact Officer Chip Watts with questions: (804) 412-0615 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Ashland’s neighborhoods.
The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.
Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.
The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.
Home Safety & Security
Ever wonder what goes through the mind of a burglar? What are they looking for when they break into a home or how they pick their targets?
In the linked article below, 86 burglars were asked how they broke into homes, what they said were the biggest deterrents, what didn’t stop them and how you can protect your home.
Click here to see what these burglars had to say.
Click here for a video describing more tips on how to secure your home.
Crime Prevention Programs
The Ashland Police Department has several active Crime Prevention programs. These programs include the following: