Holiday Shopping: 12 Precautions to Protect Youself & Your Property

With the holiday season fast approaching, many of us are out shopping and enjoying the festivities. In this joyous atmosphere, we also need to be aware of our surroundings and develop a safe routine because unscrupulous individuals may be out to take advantage of our festive mood.

Some things to keep in mind when you are out:

  • Never leave valuable items in clear view in your vehicle – thieves target your car for items they see; put your valuables in the trunk
  • Always lock your vehicle when you park
  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Park in an area with heavy foot traffic, not in an isolated spot
  • When stopping for fuel, always lock your vehicle if you leave it
  • When pumping gas, lock the doors on the other side of the car to prevent thieves from grabbing your purse or other valuables while your attention is diverted
  • Never leave your keys in your car or the ignition – your car key ring usually has your house keys on it, and this could prove dangerous and costly
  • When you are out at malls, parking areas and ATMs, be aware of your surroundings:
    • Always make sure your valuables are secured.
    • If you carry a purse or satchel, make it safe from people taking it from you; don’t leave your purse in the seat of a shopping cart

    If you do become a victim:

    • Immediately notify police and provide them with as much information as you can concerning the property taken
    • Immediately, while the information is fresh in your mind, note a description of the responsible individual and his or her vehicle, license plate number or other identifying information
    • Make note of the direction the thief fled, and pass that information to the authorities

    Enjoy the holiday season, protecting your family and fun by taking good precautions.