Holiday Safety Tips for Shopping and Parking

* Always park in well-lit areas, even if you don’t intend to shop after dark. If you need to shop at night, coordinate your trip with a friend; there is safety in numbers.
* Lock vehicle doors and close all windows, even if you will be away from the vehicle for a few minutes. Never leave the engine running in your absence, even for just a minute. Take all keys with you. (Don’t hide a set anywhere on your vehicle.) Activate anti-theft devices.
* Keep packages and other valuables, including cell phones and GPS devices, out of public view and preferably locked in the trunk. Some burglars will target GPS devices to look for home addresses, then burglarize the home while you’re at the mall.
* Park near street lights if possible and have keys in hand before you return to your car. Pay attention to your surroundings; potential predators do not like eye contact. Always check underneath the vehicle and the interior before unlocking the door.
* Deter identity theft. Don’t clip any type of identification to rearview mirrors or other locations in plain view.
* Discourage purse snatchers, don’t overload on packages. Instead of toting them, consider having them delivered.
* Don’t carry large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with check or credit/debit card if possible.
* Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse under your arm, with the strap across your body. Keep a wallet in an inside jacket pocket. Avoid back trouser pockets.