The 2019 holiday shopping season is now well underway. That means area shopping centers will be packed with enthusiastic shoppers in search of that perfect gift for their loved ones.

However, as others celebrate the joyous holiday season, there will unfortunately be some unscrupulous individuals looking to spoil the fun for everyone else. That’s why local authorities are encouraging area residents, shoppers and travelers to remain cautious and to follow a few good common sense measures to protect themselves and their belongings during the long holiday season.

The holiday season is one of the biggest times for breaking and enterings to vehicles. As a result, citizens are asked to take extra steps to prevent thieves from targeting their vehicles while they are unattended.

Items recently purchased from a store, along with other valuables, should never be left in clear view of a vehicle while the owner of the vehicle is out shopping. Those valuables should instead be placed in the trunk of your vehicle, or hidden elsewhere from the view of potential thieves.

Holiday shoppers are instead encouraged to clear things from their vehicle that might be an attraction to thieves. Thieves will often walk through a parking lot, looking for easy things to grab from parked vehicles.

Furthermore, shop with another person whenever possible. Come up with a plan for when and how you will find each other if you get separated.

Shoppers also should keep their purse and/or wallet close to them at all times to avoid potential pickpockets.

Never leave your purse in the shopping cart or open on your shoulder in large crowds. Also, remember not to remove your credit or debit card, or to take actual cash from your wallet or purse, until it is time to make your actual purchase.

During the most joyous time of the year, the last thing anyone wants is to become a victim of a crime.

Have fun while shopping, but also remember to safeguard yourself and your personal belongings.


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