Every year police across the country gear up for criminals targeting holiday shoppers. While the holiday season is always a special time of year, it is also a time when busy people become careless. This makes them easier targets for theft and other holiday crimes.
Tips to Keep From Becoming a Holiday Crime Victim
The following tips can help you safe by being more careful, prepared, and aware.
- When shopping, dress casually and comfortably; refrain from wearing expensive jewelry that conveys “I’ve got stuff worth stealing.”
- If you are shopping at night, park in a well-lighted area as close to the store entrance as possible.
- When you leave your vehicle, be sure windows are closed, doors are locked, and the alarm is set.
- Keep your vehicle registration in your wallet, not the glove box. If a criminal gets into your car, you don’t need them getting your home address too.
- When leaving or approaching your vehicle, maintain awareness of your surroundings.
- Avoid parking next to trucks with camper shells, vans, or cars with tinted windows that can hide a criminal.
- Do not create temptation. If you must leave packages or valuables in the car, lock them in the trunk or put them out of sight.
- Always have your keys in hand before going to your vehicle. The distraction of digging through handfuls of shopping bags searching for car keys creates an opportunity for a criminal to capitalize on the element of surprise.
- Keep your purse secure. Never put it down or on top of the vehicle in order to open the vehicle door.
- Do not approach your vehicle alone if there are suspicious people in the area. Go back into the store or mall and ask for a security escort.
- Do not overload yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and the ability to move.
- Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con artists exploit distracted shoppers and/or the spirit of the season to steal our money and/or belongings.
- Be aware that purses and wallets are the prime targets of criminals anywhere there is a good crowd, and that shopping areas crowded with holiday shoppers are a rich hunting ground.
- Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home. This will ease the pain should you have to notify a credit card issuer of a lost or stolen credit card.