When holiday shopping:
- Don't park in unlit areas at night.
- Put your shopping bags in your trunk. Don't try to cover items on your seats with a blanket. Better yet, take your packages straight home after a shopping spree and then go back out.
- Don't carry large amounts of cash with you, or else, keep it in your front pocket not in your purse or wallet.
- Be extra careful when carrying a purse - they are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas. If you must carry one, make sure it has a strap that can go over the shoulder and be held under the arm, making them more difficult for purse snatchers to grab.
- Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
- Beware of strangers approaching you. This is the time of year when thieves may try various methods to distract you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
- When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
- Leave a light on when you leave your home at night or put your lights (including Christmas lights) on an automatic timer.
- Make sure your holiday gifts are not visible through the windows and doors of your home.
- Never say you are away from home on the outgoing message on you answering machine or voice mail. Simply say you are unable to answer the phone at this time.