Crime Prevention Tips

Photo of vehicle stop

"Service with integrity"

To better protect the City of Winters and provide the utmost in quality service, we ask that you partner with us to do the following: always be aware of your surroundings.  For the safety of everyone in our community be on the lookout for anything suspicious. 

If you see anything that isn’t right don’t hesitate to call Winters Police Dispatch at 530-795-4561.  For in progress Emergencies please call 911.

Anti Theft Dots

Anti-theft Dots are an innovative technology to combat theft. Anti-Theft Dots products have special adhesives that adhere to all types of surfaces. The adhesive contains micro dots embedded throughout the product that can be registered to an individual. Users can register their products online and share the list of items with first responders.

Law enforcement agencies across Yolo County – Woodland PD, Davis PD, Winters PD, and the Yolo County Sheriff Office encourage residents to protect their property by applying new technology to your valuables as a means to deter theft and a method to return recovered property to the rightful owners.

Several companies offer anti theft dots which can be purchased online or at retail stores. When registering your item, be sure to include any serial numbers, model numbers, or unique physical descriptions (examples like stickers, scratches, or colors).

ATM Safety

  • When using an ATM, look around. If you see anything that makes you uncomfortable or anyone who looks suspicious, use an ATM at a different location or come back later. Notify police if needed.
  • If someone else is using the ATM when you arrive, avoid standing right behind them.
  • Attempt to move the card reader to see if an external skimming device has been installed.
  • Have your access card and any other documents you need ready.
  • Do not enter your PIN if anyone else can see the screen.
  • When your transaction is finished, be sure you have your card and your receipt, and then leave immediately.
  • Avoid counting or displaying large amounts of cash.

Cell phones, Laptops, and Tablets Safety

  • After purchase, write down the make, model, and serial number for your electronic device and keep the information in a secure place.
  • Be sure to use a password on your device and install or turn on "find my device" and "remote lock" systems or apps.
  • Never use your device while driving. Consider placing your phone on silent while your drive to minimize distractions and use hands-free technology.
  • If using your electronic as a WiFi hotspot, make sure your WiFi is password protected.
  • If you lose your device, be sure to turn on the location system and lock it remotely. If you have location information, contact local law enforcement, never attempt to retrieve your device on your own.
  • If you access financial information through your device, be sure to contact your bank if your device is lost.
  • Make sure all of your videos, pictures, and documents stored on your device are backed up in another location.
  • Make sure to contact your cell phone provider in the event your cell phone is lost or stolen.
  • Make sure to change your passwords in the event your device is lost or stolen.
  • Contact law enforcement in the event your device is stolen in order to make a police report.

Domestic and wild animals

What happens if I encounter a strange dog?

  • Do not approach the dog; try to avoid it by crossing to the other side of the street.
  • Look for body language that indicates a dog does not want to interact.  This can include stiff or still body posture, raised hair along the back of the neck, and ears back. The dog may also growl or snarl while showing its teeth.
  • If a dog approaches you do not run, do not make loud noises, and do not yell instead use a firm tone of voice.   If a dog approaches to sniff you stand very still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you’re not a threat.
  • Look away from the dog. Dogs sometimes think direct eye contact is a challenge for power and control.
  • If a dog is charging you, toss an object away from you and away from the dog. The dog should move toward the thrown object to sniff and investigate it. This will give you a chance to slowly turn and walk away.
  • If a dog tries to bite, you can use a jacket, backpack, or bicycle to block the dog and keep its teeth from contacting you.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.

What should I teach my kids about dogs?

  • Small children should never be left unsupervised with an animal.
  • Children should be taught to respect a dog's space, never disturb a dog that’s caring for puppies, sleeping or eating.
  • Do not pet a dog through a fence as the dog may growl or bite to protect its territory.
  • Teach your children how to read a dog’s body language and how to react if they encounter a dog off a leash.  Have them practice what to do if they fall or are knocked to the ground by a dog.
  • Children should also be taught not to approach an unknown dog.

If I see a dog attack or am attacked by a dog, who do I call?

  • If you or someone else is attacked by a dog, call 911.
  • Report all dog bites. Statistics on potentially aggressive and dangerous dogs cannot be tracked if dog bites are not reported to the proper authorities.
  • For more information, contact Yolo County Animal Control 530-668-5287.

What is the law in Winters with regard to dogs?

  • All dogs must be on a leash when not on the dog owner’s property
  • All dogs over 4 months old must be licensed and vaccinated (Rabies)
  • All dogs over 4 months old must have a collar. The collar must list the license number, proof of vaccination and the name and address of the owner.
  • No dogs are allowed to run at large. If a dog is caught running at large and is impounded by Yolo County Animal Control, all costs of the impound are payable by the dog owner.

Who enforces the law in Winters with regard to dogs?

  • Animal laws in Winters are enforced by Yolo County Animal Control

What should I do if I encounter a wild animal or have a problem with a wild animal?

  • Do not approach the animal
  • Contact Yolo County Animal Control
  • Contact the California Department of Fish and Wildlife by filing an online Wildlife Incident Report HERE. An investigator will be assigned and contact you with further information.
  • Visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife "Keep Me Wild" pages for more information about living near wildlife HERE

Driving in wet weather

Drive at speeds safe for conditions. Wet roads and hard braking can cause people to lose traction and spin out of control because their speeds were unsafe for the roadway conditions.

Keep a safe distance while following a vehicle.

Keep a light touch on the break and gas peddles. Gently decelerate to slow down, especially on turns. Don’t accelerate too hard to avoid fishtailing.

Use your windshield wipers and turn on your headlights (don’t forget to turn them off after you park).

Whenever possible, safely avoid puddles as it could cause a loss of traction, the vehicle could go into a pothole, or water could splash and cause internal damage your electrical system. If you cannot safely pass a puddle, carefully slow down

Go over your vehicle’s safety equipment when rain is forecasted
• Make sure your windshield wipers are functioning properly and replace old brittle wipers
• Check your tires for proper tread depth.
• Ensure all your lights are working, i.e., headlights, taillights and brake lights.

Fraud and Identity Theft Prevention

  • If you are offered a deal that sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Con artists are experts in human psychology and behavior.  They know how to gain your confidence with smooth talk and a self-assured manner. High-pressure sales are another ploy used by con artists.
  • Telemarketing is a common method of stealing from citizens. Telephone fraud con artists spend a lot of time practicing their lines for enticing people to buy. Here are some tips that can alert you to Telemarketing scams:
    • You must act now!
    • You've won a "free" gift or vacation.
    • Pay only postage and handling.
    • You must send money or give a credit card number before you have a chance to carefully consider the offer.
  • Never give out your social security number or any other personal information over the phone. Make sure you shred anything that comes through the mail with any identifying information on it
  • Government agencies (IRS and Social Security Administration) do not communicate with customers by phone.
  • Government agencies and utility companies do not accept payment by gift cards and do not ask for immediate payment over the phone with GreenDot Money Pak cards.
  • Mail scams can include fake prizes, secret shopper programs, or review requests. These scams can also include realistic checks. The easiest way to verify a check is to hold it to the light to check for watermarks, you can also check to see that the addresses on the check are from the same area. If you need assistance to determine if a check is real, please contact the Police Department.

Home Safety

  • Please lock your doors; this includes the front, back, side, and garage doors.  Remember, thieves always look for an easy target.
  • Remember to close and secure your windows.  As an added security measure, consider a window lock and/or placing a dowel along the track that the windows slide.  This will prevent a thief from easily sliding the window open.
  • Consider a home security system and make sure everyone in the residence knows how to use it. Don't forget to arm the security system every time you leave your residence.
  • Have a side gate? Consider getting a lock to keep people out of your backyard.
  • Don't forget to put away ladders and tools after you finish using them. Tools can be easy targets for thieves.
  •  As best as possible, keep your home well lit.  Turn on any lighting that you can, including front and back porches as well as on the side of your home.  Remember, thieves don’t want to be seen so don’t keep them in the dark.

Internet Safety

  • Many people can be the targets of crime and exploitation as they use online Internet services. Do not to give out identifying information such as a name,  password, home address, or  telephone number in a chat room, bulletin board or when instant  messaging. Also, be careful about revealing such information via e-mail.
  • Do not respond to e-mails when you don’t recognize the address, they could contain viruses.  Make sure your computer has an anti -virus program and keep it up to date.
  • There are many email and wire fraud scams designed to steal your identity.  Know that no matter how official looking, your bank will never ask for identifying information or account numbers on line.  Be wary of anything advising of a change in phone numbers or updated information.  Always call your bank with the old number to check.

Outdoor Activities

Be “Out Door Safe” and have a plan.

  • Inform someone of where you're going and when you plan to return
  • Research your area/ trail: Make sure you are prepared physically and familiarize yourself with the area.
  • Research the rules of use of the area (for example ATV restrictions, no dogs on the trail, no jetski in the lake).
  • If you are using new equipment, practice before you take it on your trip.
  • Keep a map of the area, a flashlight, GPS, and whistle or mirror (to signal for help if needed) with you.
  • Make sure your cell phone is charged- it may only work in higher elevations.
  • Eat well, stay hydrated: carry plenty of water. No matter how clear looking the streams/ rivers are, never drink the water- use purification methods such as boiling or tablets.
  • Expect changes in the weather and dress in layers.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray.
  • Stay on the trail/ in the area if you are lost.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for HELP! You can check in at ranger stations, visitor centers, chat with park rangers, and program local emergency numbers in your phone.

Package Theft Prevention

On line retail mean packages arriving on door steps everyday. Unfortunately, packages also mean package thieves. As you’re making online purchases, follow these tips to avoid becoming the victim of package theft.

  • Sign up for delivery alerts so you know when your delivery is scheduled – and when the package has been delivered.
  •  If you’re not able to be home when a package will be delivered, ask a trusted neighbor to hold it for you.
  • If possible, require a signature for all deliveries.
  • Consider shipping packages to your place of work or use the ship to store option.
  • Be a good neighbor! If you see a package on your neighbor’s doorstep, reach out and ask if they would like you to hold it until they are home.
  • Think you see a package thief? Note their description as best you can and call our dispatch number at 530-795-4561.

Vacation Safety

  • Do not advertise that you are away! Use caution when leaving any messages on your answering machine or voice mail. Do not post your plans, or photos of the trip, on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
  • Advise the Winters Police Department of your vacation and fill out a vacation watch form at the Winters Police Department front counter. You can also email the completed form to
  • Stop all deliveries. For mail-Have the US Post Office hold your mail. For newspaper-Cancel delivery or have a neighbor pick it up. Expecting a package? Have all necessary deliveries made to a neighbor.
  • Have someone cut the grass and tend to front yard as needed.
  • Use timers on lights and possibly a radio. Set timers to keep with your regular schedule.
  • Leave shades, blinds, curtains or drapes as usual. If someone is checking your home, have them change the drapes a little each day.
  • Secure all doors and windows. If you must leave a window open for ventilation, make it a 2 nd floor window. Make sure windows are pinned and remove all access to windows, i.e. ladders. Don't forget to activate the alarm system.
  • Make the house looks occupied. Park a car in the driveway and have a neighbor or friend move it time to time. Do not leave notes on the door.
  • Secure all valuables in safe or remove them from your home, if possible, store valuables at a secure location.
  • Close and lock the garage door and storage sheds. Remove electronic garage door openers from unused vehicles.
  • Make proper arrangement for the care and feeding of your pets. Make sure anyone you have watching the house has the alarm code and are familiar with the alarm system.
  • Make sure a family member, friend, neighbor have a key for emergencies.
  • Have a great vacation!

Vehicle Safety

  • Please make sure to lock your vehicle after parking
  • Keep your valuables out of plain sight.
  • Make sure your keys are not left in the vehicle.
  • If possible, don’t park in the street.  Park in your driveways or garages.  If your only option is the street, park in a well lit area.