Weekly Tip: Holiday Shopping Safety

LIBERTY, October 16, 2017 - The holidays are a busy time of year. Many people are distracted and not paying
attention to what’s going on around them. To ensure a safe holiday, take measures to prevent crime while you are out shopping, which includes the following tips:

• Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you observe suspicious activity, pay attention and act accordingly. Contact the police when necessary.
• Eliminate distractions where possible including texting while you are walking.
• Park in a well-lit, well-traveled area, close your windows and lock your doors.
• Remember where you park and have a key in-hand when you leave a store for your car.
• Only carry the necessary cash and credit cards that you will use.
• Zip or button up your purse and carry it close to your person in the front of the body. Put a wallet in the inside of a coat pocket or front pocket of your pants.
• If you are out at a restaurant, make sure your belongings and shopping bags are positioned so that they cannot easily be taken without your notice.
• Instruct your children to stay with you while you are shopping. Make a plan of what to do in case you become separated including who are good people to ask for help i.e. store clerks and mall security officers. Have older children meet at a predesignated spot and be sure to communicate by mobile phone when appropriate.
• Don’t overburden yourself with packages that impede mobility, visibility and make it difficult to maintain awareness over your environment. Ask for help out to your car.
• If possible, do not store bags in your car. If you must do so, deposit items into the trunk and move your car to another parking area. Car prowlers case parking lots and observe shoppers’ activities.
• If you arrange for delivery of packages, choose a location where you, a friend or relative will be available when the shipment is delivered. Otherwise require a signature on deliveries.

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