The holiday shopping season is a time when people can become vulnerable to theft and other holiday crimes that can be life changing. We are often in a rush out buying gifts, and not aware of our surroundings. Obviously there is an increase amount of people that are out shopping at the malls and grocery stores, packing the parking lots. There is so much opportunity for criminals to take advantage of your holiday spending. Even when getting gas you should lock your car doors while filling up.

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The holiday shopping season is a time when people can become vulnerable to theft and other holiday crimes that can be life changing. We are often in a rush out buying gifts, and not aware of our surroundings. Obviously there is an increase amount of people that are out shopping at the malls and grocery stores, packing the parking lots. There is so much opportunity for criminals to take advantage of your holiday spending. Even when getting gas you should lock your car doors while filling up.

Here are 10 additional tips that will keep you safer:

  1. Be alert and be aware. It’s easy to be distracted by the crowds, selecting the right gift or being preoccupied with holiday activities. Observe and react to your surroundings.
  2. Keep shopping bags, valuables, purses and wallets close to you. Keep purses or bags closed. The more expensive an item you may want to arrange to have delivered securely. Many retailers offer this option.
  3. Supervise children at all times. If you feel you will be distracted from supervising them while shopping, make arrangements for a babysitter.
  4. Recognize that there is safety in numbers. Safely shop with friends instead alone.
  5. Place any valuables in the trunk before you go shopping. Criminals are in the parking lots watching what you put in your car.
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  1. Do not be distracted when walking to your vehicle talking on phone, texting, tweeting and be sure to watch out for loiterers near your vehicle.
  2. Park in a well-lit area of the parking lot at stores and the mall.
  3. Have your keys in your free hand well before approaching the car. It will save time in getting into the car and the keys can be used as an improvised weapon if necessary. Plus lock the door immediately after getting in.
  4. Watch out for friendly strangers. They may ask a question or offer to assist you with your bags to distract you or put you in a compromising situation.
  5. After opening gifts, don’t advertise to criminals of your big ticket item with your trash. Tear down and cut up product boxes into small pieces to fit into garbage and recycling cans.

Be safe and remember to always be aware of your surroundings.