Holiday crime prevention

The weekend after Thanksgiving is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year.

While this is supposed to be a festive and memorable time, it is good to remember that the holidays are also a prime time to be victimized by criminals.

You can help make this holiday season safe by following these simple tips provided by Chief Gary Dent.

As you shop, be aware of your surroundings. Be cautious of people asking you questions, such as the time or directions or bumping into you.

This is a common practice to distract you. Pick pockets use distraction techniques to steal your belongings.

Keep your purses and wallets secured.

An open purse is an invitation for trouble. Use smaller purses as they are easier to control and keep close by.

After paying for your purchase, make sure you get your receipt and if paying by credit card, make sure the clerk returns your card. Take the time to out your credit cards, wallet or checkbook securely away.

Never carry large amounts of cash with you.

If you use cash, never display how much you have. Also, keep valuables like jewelry and cell phones concealed.

When shopping at a mall and making a number of purchases; use a large strong bag, instead of several smaller ones. You are more likely to drop a small bag and never realize it is gone.

If you are going to place packages in your vehicle and return to the mall, be careful no one is watching.

Never leave packages visible in the passenger compartment of your vehicle.

Always lock them in the trunk and most important, lock your trunk release lever.

Thieves often break the window of the vehicle and simply pull the lever, opening the trunk.

Lock you vehicle, no one wants to return to an empty parking space.

Park you vehicle in well-lit areas.

There is safety in numbers. When possible go with a friend.

Thieves would rather target a single shopper that a group.

If you are waling to your vehicle and you believe someone is following you, don’t go to your vehicle, return to the mall and contact security.

Editor’s note: This article was submitted by Conrad Chief of Police Gary Dent. If you have further questions or want more information, contact him through the CPD at 271-5723.