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Detective Bureau / Community Service Unit
The Chester Detective Bureau is overseen by Sgt. Ronald Totams. Det. Ryan Steckel and Det. Douglas Shea are also currently assigned to the Bureau. The Bureau is mainly responsible for investigating criminal activity that occurs within our jurisdiction but also teaches Law Enforcement Against Drugs (L.E.A.D.–formerly D.A.R.E.) and other community service based programs. Detectives are required to attend in-service training and specialized investigative schools during their careers.
Det./Sgt. Ronald Totams: firstname.lastname@example.org – (908) 879-5514 Ext. 852
Det. Ryan Steckel: email@example.com (908) 879-5514 Ext. 835
Det. Douglas Shea: firstname.lastname@example.org (908)879-5514 Ext. 8862
Identity Theft / Prevention
Throughout the last few years the Chester Police Department has experienced an increase, in reported “Identity Theft Incidents”. Identity theft occurs when a person or persons takes control of, or uses your personal identifying information. It includes such information as name, address, date of birth, social security numbers, bank accounts and credit card accounts. It is our sincere hope to provide you, our residents with vital information that will help decrease your exposure to becoming a victim of this destructive crime.
What can you do?
- Avoid leaving out-going mail in your mailbox- take it to the post office or to a US Postal Collection Box. (Theft of mail is a quick way to becoming a victim).
- Shred or tear up important documents that contain personal or financial information- don’t just throw them in the trash. (Individuals will sift through your garbage containers for your information).
- When purchasing items or services on-line / Internet, only enter your credit card information via a secured site- the website will display an icon of a lock, in the bottom of the web browser page if it is secure.
- Review your Consumer Credit Report annually.
- Never give anyone personal information about yourself over a cellular telephone- the conversation is not secure and can be monitored by others.
- Avoid handing out your personal or financial information to anyone trying to sell you something over the telephone. If they are a legitimate person or business, they will be more than willing to mail you additional information, an application or identifying contact information. (This will also allow you time to verify the business with the Better Business Bureau).
If you believe that you have become a victim of identity theft, immediately complete the following:
Report the fraud to the three major credit bureaus, Trans Union 800-680-7289, Equifax 800-525-6285 and Experian 888-397-3742. Request that they flag your account so that creditors cannot grant credit to your account, unless you directly authorize it.
Contact the Chester Police Department immediately to file a police report (908) 879-5514. A decision will be made at that time, if the investigation can be handled here or you will be directed accordingly after the incident is officially documented. Check out the following site for additional information- FTC.GOV/IDTHEFT
Contact all creditors (credit card companies) to notify them of the crime. Most times they will require a copy of the police report for verification purposes.
- Have only one dedicated credit card for internet purchases and restrict the credit limit/line.
- When dealing with internet auctions, sales or classifieds; Never go outside the auction house or be enticed by the seller offering you free shipping.When selling something, never ship the item(s) until the check has cleared. If the check appears to be certified or a bank check, call the financial institution first to verify the check is valid.
- Be sure that you have anti-virus and anti-spyware software that it is updated and you scan your PC for these items. Just because you have the software doesn’t mean it finds everything unless you scan it.
- Turn your computer OFF when not in use.
- Make sure your computer’s operating system is up to date.
- There is NO such thing as good exposure when it comes to children and the internet. Therefore, regardless of their Privacy modes, any exposure can lead to giving up who and where the child lives. Children may be smart enough not to talk or go to a stranger, however what is stopping the predator from meeting your child?
- Some parents may not realize that kids can have more than one screen name or social networking profile.
- Never have an away message when not on your computer.
- Even gaming systems that connect to the internet can enable communications with strangers and report a child’s profile and time on/off line.
- No Web Cam for children.
- Computer(s) connected to internet should NEVER be in a child’s room.
- Consider parental control or monitoring software.
- Ask and work with your school and community to help educate parents and kids about the dangers of the internet.
- IC3.gov – Internet Crime Complaint Center
- Internet Crime Prevention Tips
- Internet Crime Schemes
- FTC.gov – Federal Trade Commission | FTC’s Identity Theft Site
- Snopes.com – Urban Legends Reference Pages
Home Burglary Prevention, Security Measures & Scams
- Always keep all doors, windows, and garages locked whether you are home or not.
- Check screens on windows and doors for cuts, openings, slits, and holes. Ensure that the screen is secure and without damage.
- Install internal motion detectors in the bedrooms of young children with sounding alarms in parents’ bedroom.
- Install solid doors, complete with heavy duty locks and heavy duty strike plates, in the door frame.
- Install interior light timers and exterior motion sensor lights to give the appearance of occupancy even when you are not home.
- Keep your landscape, including all bushes and trees, trimmed to avoid potential hiding places for invaders.
- Keep blocking devices, such as metal bars or track blockers on all sliding glass doors.
- Use crime prevention or alarm system decals on windows that are easily accessible time.
- Invest in automatic dial telephones that can dial 911 on speaker phone to reach police quickly.
- Never leave dry-cleaning or other deliveries sitting in front of your home for an extended period of time.
- When you are away for a length of time, have a neighbor collect your mail and newspaper to avoid the appearance of vacancy.
- Call a family meeting to discuss home safety and security and alert your neighbors if you see suspicious activity.
- Never open the door for a stranger, and always ask for a proof of identification if they claim to be a delivery person, repair man, etc., before opening the door.
- Photocopy all important documents and keep the copies in a safe deposit box.
- Always remember to stay aware of your surroundings.
Home Security Measures
- All windows, doors, access points to the residence should be secured and locks should be updated by a reputable locksmith.
- Passwords and key codes should be changed frequently and NEVER given out. Complicated passwords should be used, avoid using the last four digits of your Social Security Number or children’s birthdays.
- Install dead bolt locks on the inside of your bedroom doors and lock those doors in the evening. This may deter an intruder from gaining access to your bedroom while you call the police.
- Dogs are great deterrents as well as living alarms for potential intruders.
- Valuables should be secured in an alternate location rather than the master bedroom.
- Park cars in the driveway when away from home.
- The actors will often work in concert to distract the victim. For example, one actor may direct the victim to look at additional damage around the rear of the house while the other actor enters the residence, goes immediately to the master bedroom and takes jewelry, cash and removes checks from the center of the ledger to delay discovery of the stolen checks.
- Only use contractors for repairs that you know and that have a local business that can provide references. Never use a contractor that does not have his name, telephone and license number displayed on his vehicle.