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Sheriff’s Corner: Shopping Safety

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The busiest shopping time of the year is quickly approaching, and this is when criminal activity is on the rise. Prior to you or your family going shopping, everyone should discuss safety awareness.

Always know where everyone is going and what time they will return. Designate different times to call each other while you are out. Prior planning will enhance safety awareness.

Always go with someone if possible; being by yourself makes you an easier target for a criminal.

Try to do your shopping during daylight hours, and if you can’t, then park close to the business or in a well-lit area.

Secure all of your packages and personal items in the trunk, do not leave valuables in plain view.

When you have to bring your purse with you, put the carrying strap over your shoulder to secure it better. If you are carrying a wallet, put it in your front pocket. Only bring the amount of money and credit cards you will need.

Avoid wearing any expensive jewelry and dress casual.

When getting ready to leave, look around for any suspicious strangers prior to walking to your car. Approach your vehicle from the rear looking underneath, and check the back and front seats. Have your keys in your hand as you walk out to the vehicle.

Hold your key fob if you have one, so you can immediately press the panic button if you are threatened. A whistle is a good substitute in the absence of a panic button.

When you finish shopping and you are getting ready to leave, ask for security to escort you to your car, or see if a store employee can help you.

Just being aware and planning in advance reduces the chances of you, your family or someone you know being involved in a crime this season. These precautions should not only be utilized for the holiday season, but for anytime you go shopping. Please have a safe and enjoyable holiday shopping season this year.