Safety Tips

  • The overwhelming majorities of stolen bikes are not locked, the use of a cable, chain, or U style lock can help prevent your bicycle being stolen.
  • A bike being unlocked is a bigger factor in whether it gets stolen than how expensive the bike is.
  • Lock the front wheel to the frame, if you can lock it to something. Don’t use parking meters or sign polls because the bikes can easily be lifted over and taken away in seconds. Avoid parking bikes overnight in public if you can avoid it.
  • Take a picture of your bike to help identify it if is stolen.
  • Write down your bike serial number, make, and model.
  • Stolen bicycles, unlike motor vehicles, are extremely difficult for police to recover. If your bicycle has gone missing, check with the Mentor-on-the-Lake Police Department.
  • Most bicycle recoveries have been initiated by the victim because they have spotted it being used in the neighborhood, advertised on-line or being sold at a second-hand bike shop.

Most kids pass through childhood without ever experiencing physical harm, or being affected by crime. Adults can make a difference in a child’s life by listening to what they are saying about other people or places. Adults must also teach children how to protect themselves in threatening situations. Here are some things you can do to protect your children.

  • Rehearse their name, address and phone number (including the area code).
  • Teach them how to make an emergency call from a home phone and a cell phone.
  • Help them become aware of dangers around them such as vacant houses, wooded areas, bad lighting, busy streets with no sidewalks, etc.
  • Show them safe places in the neighborhood where they could go for help in an emergency (Police Department, Fire Department, etc.).
  • If they get lost in a store, make sure they know to go to a store employee or security guard, but never go outside.
  • Tell them that no one should ask to touch them anywhere their bathing suit covers, and that they should not be asked to touch anyone else in those areas.
  • Remind them that nobody should ask them to keep secrets from you.
  • Have them walk confidently and stay alert to what is going on in the area around them.
  • Ask them to watch out for the smaller children and to report anyone who lurks around parks, bathrooms, schools and etc.
  • Teach them how to write down a license plate number.
  • Make sure they can reach you by phone if they must be home alone.
  • Post the numbers to emergency services, your work, a trusted neighbor, and a family member, near the telephone.
  • Have them check in with you when they get home and before they go to a friend’s house.
  • Agree on rules for having friends over when no adult is present.
  • Remind them to never open the door to anyone including a repairman, a salesman, or an unexpected guest.
  • Teach them to never tell anyone they are home alone either through the door or on the phone. Kids should always say their parents are busy.

Here are some steps to take if you think your identity has been stolen or you have found fraudulent transactions on banking or other financial accounts:

  • Contact your banking and credit card companies directly. Use the number on the back side of your bank/credit card or go to the bank to ensure that you are speaking with a real company representative. A scammer may call you and claim to be a representative with your bank. Financial establishments should not call you and ask for account numbers or other sensitive information.
  • Contact any of the three major credit reporting agencies. Report your situation and request them to “freeze” your credit.
    • EQUIFAX – (800) 685-1111
    • TRANS UNION  – (888) 909-8872
    • EXPERIAN – (888) 397-3742
  • File a police report. A report may be required by your financial institute. An officer will need your account number(s) that have been involved with the fraud. The officer will also need the dollar amount of all fraudulent charges. Providing a copy of your bank statements or a print out from your bank will assist with the investigation.
  • Contact the Social Security Office
    •  (800) 772-1213
    • 55 W. Jackson St, Painesville, OH 44077
  • Change your account passwords. Changing your passwords frequently paired with making strong passwords can boost your account’s security. You can utilize online password generators on Google to generate strong and difficult to crack passwords. 
    • Avoid adding things like your name, address, date of birth, etc. to your passwords. These are easier to guess. 
    • Add a two-factor authentication method. You can set this up and your account will send a code via text to your phone or message to a two-factor authentication app.


  • If your electronic device stops working or displays a message asking you to purchase or download a program to remove a cirus, try turning the device off and restarting it. Most devices can be restarted by holding the power and lock button down on the top or sides of the device for several seconds. If this does not work, contact the company that makes the product or your phone carrier. Do not call any number that is displayed on the message(s) that are displayed on the screen because this may be a scam number.



  • Organizations you can contact to report fraudulent use of your checks:
    • Checkrite: (800) 766-2748
    • Chexsystems: (800) 428-9623
    • Crosscheck: (800) 843-0760
    • Equifax: (800) 437-5120
    • International Check Services: (800) 631-9656
    • Scan: (800) 262-7771
    • Telecheck: (800) 710-9898

What can you as a parent do for your children? Please take the time to follow some simple steps below to help safeguard their Internet experience:

  • Place your computer in the family room or another open area of your home. Or use the computer together at a library, school, or community center.
  • Establish clear ground rules for Internet use for your kids. Decide whether or not to use parental control tools or protective software.
  • Take the time to see what your kids are doing online and what their interest are.
  • Teach kids never to give out their personal information to people they meet online especially in public areas like chat rooms and bulletin boards.
  • Tell your child not to respond when they receive offensive or dangerous e-mail, chat, or other communications.
  • Instruct your child never to plan a face-to-face meeting with online acquaintances.


There are a number of resources available online for parents, one worth checking out is Teen Safety on the Information Highway at or order a free copy by calling (800) 843-5678 or (800) THE-LOST.

Rabies is a matter of concern to us all. Since 1977, Ohio has been distributing a
vaccine that orally vaccinates wild raccoons against rabies. Fishmeal coated packets are dropped from low flying aircraft. Local teams on foot or in vehicles distribute the same vaccine enclosed in a fishmeal block. This year’s operation started April 25, 2005.

What if I find rabies bait?
Baits should be left alone – but intact baits can be moved if they are found where children and pets play. Damaged baits should be bagged, and disposed of in the trash.

  • Wear gloves or use a paper towel when picking up the bait.
  • Toss intact bait into a fencerow, woodlot, ditch or other raccoon habitat
  • Wash your hands after any skin contact with damaged bait.

What if my pet eats the bait?

  • A few baits are not harmful, although eating a lot may cause vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Do not risk getting bitten by taking bait away from your pet.
  • Confine your pet for a couple of days, and check the area for more baits.
  • If your pet ate baits, avoid your pet’s saliva for 24 hours, and wash skin orwounds that may have been licked.


Questions about Oral Rabies Vaccine or bait you have found?
                      * Lake County General Health District 440-350-2543
                      * Ohio Department of Health 888-722-4371


A printable/downloadable copy is available in Word, click here.


  • Always be aware of your surroundings. Be watchful and aware. Keep your head up. Make quick eye contact with those around you and be observant of passing vehicles. Don’t become distracted by utilizing a cell phone or other type of distraction.
  • At night, when parking, walking or returning to your car, travel in well-lit and populated areas.
  • Avoid walking alone late at night. Walk with friends and people you know.
  • Wearing sneakers or shoes will allow for added mobility.
  • Call ahead to your destination to alert them that you’re on the way. Make sure you’re expected at a certain time, so in the event you fail to show up, those expecting you will know enough to begin looking for you.
  • Walk with confidence. Don’t let anyone violate your space. Trust your instincts. Anyone at any time can be a victim of crime so never assume, “IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME.”
  • If you think that someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk towards an open store, restaurant or residence.

With the ever-growing popularity of online marketplaces and peer-to-peer selling/swapping sites, here are some safety tips:

  • Don’t disclose personal information to the buyer, seller, etc.
  • Know that a profile could be fake. Many criminals are using fake profiles to scam people out of money or lure them to a physical location.
  • Do your best to communicate safely though methods that can protect you and your information. Scammers may attempt to move your conversation to an outside or third-party source in attempts to avoid being reported or blocked.
  • If you are buying or selling an item and must meet with the other party:
    • Choose a public and populated place (shopping center parking lot, police department’s parking lot, etc.)
    • Avoid going to a stranger’s house or giving your home address to a stranger.
    • Inform a family member or friend about your plan, including things like the time, date, and location.
  • If going to a public place is not an option:
    • Take a second person with you
    • Inform a family member or friend about your plan, including things like the time, date, and location.
  • If you get an uncomfortable feeling for any reason, trust your instincts and consider postponing or canceling the transaction.
  • Take advantage of contactless options like shipping, leaving the item(s) in a mailbox or on the porch.
  • Do not release an item until you have received the payment. Use instant electronic transfers or cash. A scammer may want to use payment methods that do not instantly provide a payment (like a check). This would make it seem like you have been paid, but when you attempt to collect the payment, the payment could be cancelled or insufficient funds.
  • Consider the credibility and legitimacy of a listing. If you find an item that is significantly lower than similar items, question why this item is priced so low.
  • Avoid high-value transactions on these platforms. Carrying a large amount of cash could make you an easy target.
  • Use sturdy doors. Solid wooden doors or doors reinforced with steel offer much more protection than hollow core wooden doors.
  • Use safe locks. Adding quality deadbolt locks is a great idea because they can’t be ‘popped’ the way spring-latch locks can.
  • Do not allow people into your home without knowing who they are. Thieves use many disguises and some pose as someone that they are not (a utility worker, cable company employee, etc.). Strangers should be questioned as to what business they have in your home. This can be done in a polite way and is essential.
  • Lock your windows.
  • When you are not at home, always lock your first-floor windows and doors.
  • In a single-family home or a multi-dwelling building, the outer hallway door should be locked. If a thief has access to the inner hallway, he now has a cover from the public’s eye and extra time to break through the front door without being noticed.
  • Introduce yourself to your neighbor. Consider having a neighbor or friend watch your home when you’re on vacation. You can also call the Mentor-on-the-Lake Police Department and provide information about how long you will be gone.

Lake County residents can request e-mail notification that a sex offender has moved into their neighborhood through either a link on the sheriff’s web site,, or through the Ohio Attorney General’s web site, At the AG’s web site residents can request the notification or simply view records, including maps and pictures, of sex offenders within one mile of a given address.

A printable/downloadable copy is available in Word, click here.

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness can spell disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

  1. *Ask the individual to SMILE.
  2. *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS
  3. *Ask the person to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE.


If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

After discovering that a group of non-medical volunteers could identify facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the general public to learn the three questions. They presented their conclusions at the American Stroke Association’s annual meeting last February. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke and prevent brain damage.


A printable/downloadable copy is available in Word, click here.

The following list of suspicious activities are only a few of the many suspicious activities criminals do every day. Not everything that seems suspicious turns out to be suspicious, but know that you will not get in trouble if you call the police to report something suspicious. At the very least, make your neighbors aware of the situation so they can watch for the activity as well.

  • Anyone looking in a car or home
  • Anyone forcibly entering a car or home
  • Someone running from a home or business
  • An unknown adult talking to children, offering gifts or asking them for help.
  • Anyone loitering around closed businesses, parks, or establishments
  • Strange vehicles in your area that have been there for several hours
  • Strange vehicles that drive down the road very slowly or multiple times in a short time period.
  • A clean vehicle with dirty or damaged plates
  • A vehicle with visibly broken locks or windows
  • Groups of people loitering or walking through your neighborhood.


If you see something suspicious, gathering certain information will help police officer’s identify and locate the individual(s) involved. Some good things to record or remember is:

  • Vehicle plate numbers
  • Vehicle make, model, color
  • Vehicle unique identifiers like damage to the body or decals
  • Individual(s) physical identifiers like clothing (type and color), approximate height and weight, gender, approximate age.
  • Last know direction of travel
  • Anything else that could be unique and help in the identification of the person or vehicle.

The vehicle break-ins and vehicle thefts are on the rise, especially in the warmer weather. The following is some tips on how to raise your chances to no become a victim:

  • Lock your doors and windows. Even if your window is only slightly open, it makes your car an easier target for thieves. A thief will insert a wire into a slightly open window to pop up the door lock.
  • DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES IN YOUR CAR. Valuable items, such as your laptop, iPod, etc. should never be left in your vehicle. Always take your valuables with you. If the option of taking these items inside is not an option, move them into the trunk or another place that is out of visual sight.
  • Invest in an anti-theft device. When you buy a new or used car, checking to see if it has an anti-theft device is as important as checking the engine. If there isn’t one, you should have one installed.
  • If you observe any unusual activity or observe a car theft or a break-in, call 9-1-1 or Mentor-on-the-Lake Police Department at (440) 257-7234.
  • Leave outdoor house lights on during hours of darkness. A large number of criminals involved in this type of crime and are deterred by lights. Keeping your vehicle(s) in well-lit areas can help prevent you from being their next victim.
  • Invest in security cameras that are mounted on the outside of your home. If someone attempts to gain access to your vehicle(s), cameras may catch the individual’s identity and help in any legal actions towards them. As a bonus, this can help for any form of criminal activity that is caught on the cameras.