Holiday home checks, escorts and more

’Tis the season for crime. So the Department of Public Safety has some suggestions to keep you safe.

Home safety

You’re going away for the holidays. But you can’t take your home in University City with you, and you’re worried it won’t be safe.

Here’s the solution for you—police checks.

Students, faculty and staff who live in the University City area may request special checks of their residences, to be conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Police Department.

To arrange for police checks, complete a “Request for Special Police Check Form,” which you can download from /police. Return the completed form to the Division of Public Safety Headquarters, located at 4040 Chestnut St.


The University City District (UCD) offers a walking escort anywhere within its patrol area, 8 a.m. to 3 a.m., seven days a week. The area is 30th to 50th streets, Lancaster to Baltimore avenues. The number to call is 215-898-WALK (-9255).

The Penn Police advise you to be aware of your environment and never walk alone.

Vehicle assistance

Locked out of your car? Battery dead? Call UCD’s vehicle assistance at 215-387-3942, also 8 a.m. to 3 a.m., seven days a week.

Precautions at work

Keep your office and your valuables—wallets, laptops, etc.—locked when you’re not there.

Vehicle safety

Stow valuables and gifts in the trunk, out of sight.

Park in a well-lit area. Then look around, and if you see something suspicious, stay in the vehicle and park somewhere else.

Shopping safety

Carry a minimum number of credit cards. Avoid carrying large sums of cash.

Use ATMs in well-lit, safe environments, like the Wawa. Watch out for pickpockets who may be loitering around the ATMs. And don’t count your money at the ATM.

Keep your shopping and handbags in front of you if you put them down.

Suspicious behavior

In all circumstances, report suspicious behavior to the University Police, 215-573-3333 or 511, or city police, 911.

Originally published on December 13, 2001