Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

As shoppers head to the mall or local businesses to purchase gifts, they should be aware that thieves are also out and about targeting parking lots and retail establishments.  The Department hopes to educate shoppers by providing a few simple tips that will reduce their chances of becoming targeted by thieves:
  1. Never leave your purchases unattended, even for a few minutes, especially in a parking lot or crowded store.  Stow your purchases in the trunk of your vehicle.  Leaving your purchases in plain view may make you a thief’s next victim.
  2. Choose well lit parking spaces in areas closer to main entrances.
  3. Pay attention to anyone who appears to be loitering in the parking lot and remain alert at all times. Thieves will target victims who are distracted or on their cell phones and may even create a distraction themselves to pickpocket or steal.
  4. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  5. Shop during daylight hours, whenever possible.  When shopping at night, go with a friend or family member.
  6. Pay for purchases with a check or credit card, when possible. Never leave credit card receipts lying around on the counter or table.  Before leaving any business, ensure that clerks and waiters put your receipts away and out of sight.
  7. Ensure that children are not left alone in video arcades, toy stores or restrooms; predators are on the prowl for unattended children.  Point out security guards, so your child knows where to go for help, if lost.
  8. Don’t hang your purse on the back of a chair in a restaurant.  Keep it in plain view at all times.
  9. Call the police immediately should a crime occur.