Crime & Theft Prevention

The Largo Police Department is committed to helping our citizens combat crime and victimization.  The following links contain information on ways you can help reduce the threat of crime.

Theft Prevention

In today’s digital world, we must remain vigilant and active to protect ourselves from identity theft.  There are many ways for thieves to exploit personal information.  By staying active and working to safeguard your identity, you can help prevent identity theft or at least catch it quickly. 

Steps to Reduce Exposure
  • Check bank statements regularly and only carry the credit/debit cards you plan to use.  
  • Shred anything with personal or financial information prior to disposal.  This included pre-approved credit applications that are sent to your house.
  • Remove your name from mailing lists for pre-approved credit lines by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
  • Never release personal or financial information to unsolicited telephone callers or over the Internet
Be aware, plan ahead, and trust your instincts
By taking a proactive approach to our personal safety, we can help to mitigate many potential threats and create a good defense to discourage victimization.
Vehicle Theft/Burglary Safety
Follow these tips and to avoid becoming a victim of auto burglary or theft.

  • Ensure your vehicles are locked
  • Don't leave keys (valet) in your vehicle
  • Conceal or remove valuables
  • Park in well-lit areas
Internet Safety: Tips to Protect Children
Children’s increased online presence may put them at greater risk of child exploitation. Parents, guardians, caregivers, and teachers can take the following measures to help protect children from becoming victims of online child predators (also available as a PDF):

  • Discuss internet safety and develop an online safety plan with children before they engage in online activity. Establish clear guidelines, teach children to spot red flags, and encourage children to have open communication with you.
  • Supervise young children’s use of the internet, including periodically checking their profiles and posts. Keep electronic devices in open, common areas of the home and consider setting time limits for their use.
  • Review games, apps, and social media sites before they are downloaded or used by children. Pay particular attention to apps and sites that feature end-to-end encryption, direct messaging, video chats, file uploads, and user anonymity, which are frequently relied upon by online child predators.
  • Adjust privacy settings and use parental controls for online games, apps, social medial sites, and electronic devices.
  • Tell children to avoid sharing personal information, photos, and videos online in public forums or with people they do not know in real life. Explain to your children that images posted online will be permanently on the internet.
  • Teach children about body safety and boundaries, including the importance of saying ‘no’ to inappropriate requests both in the physical world and the virtual world.
  • Be alert to potential signs of abuse, including changes in children’s use of electronic devices, attempts to conceal online activity, withdrawn behavior, angry outbursts, anxiety, and depression.
  • Encourage children to tell a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult if anyone asks them to engage in sexual activity or other inappropriate behavior. Immediately report suspected online enticement or sexual exploitation of a child by calling 911, or your local police agency. 
Burglary Prevention
  • When you move into a new home, you cannot be sure who might have a key. It is a good idea to have locks re-keyed or replaced.
  • Many burglars look for doors and windows left unsecured.
    • Lock all doors and windows when you are not home.
    • When working outside, do not leave doors unlocked that you cannot see. This includes your garage door.
    • Use a door viewer (peep hole),window or surveillance camera before answering your door.
    • If you don’t recognize the person, don’t open the door and make sure the person knows someone is home. Burglars are for the most part not confrontational by nature and do not want any contact with you.
    • When you are out and about in your neighborhood, be observant and watch out for suspicious activity. Get to know your neighbors and watch out for them also.
    • Call the police when you notice any suspicious activity or persons. It is better to be safe rather than a victim.
    • Keep track of important serial numbers and descriptions of valuable property in your home, to help identify property that may have been stolen.
    • Keep the list in a safe place so you have the information available in case you are the victim of a crime.
Personal Safety
Carry only what you will need. Reduce your risk by leaving valuables secure at home when possible. 

  • PURSES/BAGS: Should be closed, carried in front of the body with an arm held loosely across it. Many people carry a bag out of habit, but if you don’t really need it, travel without one.
  • BACKPACKS: Make sure to zip and secure all pockets and to check on your backpack periodically. When in crowded situation, on public transportation and at street corners, bring your backpack around to your front and hold your arm loosely across it.
  • SEPARATE ESSENTIALS: If you keep everything in one place, and a thief takes your bag, they now have everything - your keys, your money, and your ID with your home address. Consider keeping small essentials, such as your keys, ID, cellphone and a small amount of money separate in a coat or pants pocket
  • WALK WITH PURPOSE: Project an assertive image that conveys you know where you are going (even if you are lost - pretend).
  • AVOID ISOLATION: Avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways; stick to well-lit, high-traffic areas.
  • KEEP A DISTANCE: Don’t let people get too close, even if they appear to have a reason, such as asking for the time.
  • HAVE YOUR PHONE READY: Keep your phone on and in your hand or pocket so if you need to call police you don’t have to fumble around to find your phone.
  • TALKING ON THE PHONE: If you talk on the phone while walking, don’t get lost in conversation. Pay attention to traffic, people around you and where you are going. STAY ALERT!
  • WALK ON THE STREET FACING TRAFFIC: This will prevent a vehicle from sneaking up on you
  • AVOID JEWELRY AND CASH: Avoid displaying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry
Senior Services
Largo Police Department’s Senior Services Division provides innovative community resources and interagency coordination to Largo seniors through community connections that can help to improve their quality of life, as well as reduce crime and the fear of crime. Visit the Senior Services webpage for resources and ways to connect.

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