April 7, 2020 – COVID-19 Crime Tips

For immediate release: April 7, 2020

Thorp and Law Enforcement Agencies’ Tips to Avoid Being a COVID19 Crime Victim

Wagoner, Okla. – District Attorney Jack Thorp and law enforcement agencies in the four counties of District 27 encourage residents to guard against crime during unprecedented times.

“This is uncharted territory, so we need to think in new ways;” Thorp said, “because I can assure you, criminals are scheming all the ways they can make this deadly pandemic work for them.”

With most Americans under lockdown, watching the infection and death rates exponentially rise, Thorp says conditions are ripe for crime to flourish.

“Fear motivates some people to do things they would never normally consider,” Thorp cautioned, “on both the right and the wrong side of the law.”

Thorp said in addition to emboldening criminal minds, desperation might drive typically law-abiding citizens to commit crimes they believe will protect or provide for their families.

“Who would have ever dreamed we’d need to lock down toilet paper?” Thorp posited, “But that’s exactly the type of commodity that’s suddenly like gold during these extraordinary times.”

In addition to following expert advice to protect your health, Thorp and his partners in law enforcement recommend you follow these simple tips to avoid becoming a victim of crime.

  • Ensure locks on doors and windows are in good working order and know who all has keys.
  • Get an alarm system. Is the time right to train a new dog? Bad guys avoid houses where they might cause a ruckus, or where they believe surveillance cameras may catch them in the act.
  • Make sure the exterior of your home has ample lighting. Bad guys prefer to work in darkness, so a brightly lit home may deter thieves.
  • Make your home appear occupied at all times.
  • Lock up valuables, understanding some things have tremendous value today, that had relatively little value a month ago.
    • Toilet paper
    • Canned goods
    • Cleaning supplies
    • Medications
    • Personal protection equipment (PPE)
  • Do not post on social media about your emergency supplies or preparedness.
  • Keep items of value out of the view of people peeking in car windows.
  • Be wary of online ads featuring protection, cures or treatments for COVID-19. Before making online purchases, research the website, merchant and payment security methods.
  • Monitor bank accounts for unauthorized purchases.

“We don’t want residents to be afraid; we want you to be prepared,” Thorp said, “and being prepared means looking at crime in a new light. As calculated as the criminals are in turning chaos into opportunities, we need to be even more industrious in protecting ourselves.”

Healthcare expert advice to guard against COVID-19

  • Wash your hands with soap and water – often
  • Avoid congregating in groups of four or more
  • Maintain a six-foot perimeter around yourself; disinfect surfaces (doorknobs, drawer pulls, handles, remote controls, laptops, tablets, counters and tables, telephones, etc.)
  • Avoid sharing eating or drinking utensils; don’t share towels or hand rags
  • Avoid touching others (handshakes, hugs, etc.)
  • Take your shoes off before entering your home
  • Keep your hands away from your face
  • Wear rubber gloves and a well- and properly fitted breathing mask when in public
  • Go digital to avoid sharing paperwork; arrange online payments where possible, avoid exchanging cards or cash; etc.;
  • Disinfect wallets and money cards with each use

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