The holiday shopping season is upon us. Area police would like to take an opportunity to remind citizens and visitors of a few crime prevention and safety tips to make the shopping experience enjoyable and safe. 1. Don’t shop alone, take a friend or relative with you. 2. Take only the cash or credit cards you believe you will need. Make sure you have the information avail able to notify the bank or credit card company in the event of loss or theft. Keep cash, credit cards, and ID in a front pants pocket whenever possible. 3. Keep close control on your purse or wallet. Do not leave your purse unattended or open in a shopping cart. 4. When paying for a purchase, do not “flash” large amounts of cash and use your body to shield your credit card information and any personal data. The availability of camera phones makes it too easy to capture credit card or driver’s license information for retrieval later. 5. Don’t carry so many packages. 6. Park your vehicle in a well lit area and survey the area for suspicious vehicles or people before exiting your vehicle. Make sure your windows are rolled up and the vehicle is locked. Any items of value should be placed in the trunk or out of sight. 7. When walking to your car have your keys out and available. Place your packages in the trunk or out of sight before going to your next destination. Make sure your doors are still locked and look in your vehicle before entering it. Once in your vehicle immediately lock the doors. 8. Above all, be aware of your surroundings. Notify store security or local law enforcement if you feel you are being followed or if you observe activity that does not appear “right”. 9. Be cautious of strangers that offer you products or try to engage you in long conversation, do not be distracted. 10. If you are concerned about a situation, please notify store security or call 911 for emergencies.
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