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Posted 7/21/2010   Updated 7/21/2010 Email story   Print story


31st Security Forces Squadron

7/21/2010 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- On July 14, an active-duty military member entered the Emergency Communications Center to report a vandalized vehicle. After further inspection of the interior of the vehicle, the individual discovered missing property, including rucksack, Kevlar helmet, flak vest, and gas mask with carrier. Additionally, the individual said numerous reports of vandalism have been reported in the local area. Conscious actions need to be taken by all military members to protect their valuable equipment and maintain operational security. In any foreign country, servicemembers are reminded to ensure they are not readily identifiable as military members. Leaving protective gear sprawled out in vehicles means failure to practice OPSEC since they will be vulnerable targets. These consequences can be extremely dangerous and costly not only for the individual, but for others performing the mission. Properly secure all equipment and maintain positive possession.

On July 14, a military spouse entered the Police Services Desk to report theft. The missing items include a navigation system and memory card while the vehicle was parked at the Base Exchange. Despite the fact that it may be slightly inconvenient, develop the habit of taking GPSs when departing the vehicle. Most navigation systems are small enough to fit in a pocket or purse. Additionally, do not leave the support cradle in the window attracting attention to the vehicle. If traveling outside the area, remove the navigation system from the vehicle. It is encouraged to mark or engrave the GPS with a driver's license number as this can act as a deterrent to thieves. Also record the make, model and serial number of the GPS for records.

Crime Prevention Tip of the Week:
According to the National Crime Prevention Council and the U.S. Postal Service, there were almost ten million incidents of identity theft in the United States in 2004. It was further estimated that these incidents cost consumers $5 billion. In more recent years, these statistics have continually increased as social security numbers are more commonly used, and therefore, more easily obtainable for fraudulent actions. Be aware of common methods used to obtain the critical information for identity theft. Felons will most likely:

1) Steal credit card payments and other outgoing mail from private or public mailboxes.
2) Dig through garbage cans or communal dumpsters in search of cancelled checks, credit card and bank statements, and preapproved credit card offers.
3) Hack into computers that contain personal records to obtain unauthorized data.
4) File a change of address form in the victim's name to divert mail and gather personal and financial data.
5) Obtain lost credentials

By being aware of methods used to commit identity theft, every possible measure can be taken to amend actions that may make one a possible victim.

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