Redwood City Police Chief JR Gamez asks that all local citizens start sleeping with their car keys by their bedside.
Now, that might seem like an odd request - but Chief Gamez said, it could actually save your life, or at the very least, your car.
Chief Gamez recently sent out a community bulletin with the tip, which he said came from "an insightful local neighborhood watch coordinator." He said he found it to be "a common-sense approach to using everyday tools you may already have in your possession to keep you safe in a variety of situations."
Chief Gamez' tip is, the next time you come home for the night, and start to put your keys away, take a minute to think of this - if your car key is equipped with a red "panic" button feature as part of your car alarm system, you have a security system that requires no installation whatsoever, parked right in your driveway.
He added - test it!
"The car alarm will usually activate from almost anywhere inside your house, and it will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key-fob chain," he explained. "Additionally, the car alarm will work if you park in either your driveway or garage."
So, he continued, use your car alarm wisely and put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or the sounds of someone trying to get in your house - press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.
"If your car alarm goes off when someone is tampering with your house, the odds are very high that the suspicious person will not stick around and take the chance that they will be identified," Chief Gamez said. "After a few seconds of audible car alarm noise, your neighbors will usually start looking out their windows too, and any criminal element will flee to avoid that situation."
Chief Gamez suggested, let your elderly family members know that this same car alarm system could also be useful in a health emergency, such as a heart attack, when you may be unable to reach a phone. Or, it can serve as an alert notification system from one spouse to another if they fall outside and the other spouse would be unable to hear calls for help. The car's key alarm can be activated to notify the spouse that there is a problem.
"Additionally, remember to carry your keys in your hands while walking to your car in a parking lot," Chief Gamez added. "The vehicle alarm can be used as the same deterrent.
"These tips are something that should really be shared with everyone you know."
Have you ever known someone who has used this tip to ward off a crime? Do you think this tip will be useful to Redwood City and Woodside residents? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
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