This weekend is the busiest shopping time of the year. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office would like to offer some shopping safety tips.
If You Are Shopping:
– Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
– Shop during the daylight hours if possible.
– If you have to shop after dark, park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
– Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
– Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Don’t overburden yourself with packages. Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
– Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.
Protect Your Vehicle
– Loading up on all those gifts is a sign of progress in the holiday shopping. But if those packages are left out in the open after they’re in the car, your car has become a likely target for thieves. Remember the old clichÃ© “Out of sight, out of mind?” The same idea applies to items in your car.
– Always lock your vehicle and store all items out of sight. Breaking into an empty car isn’t worth a thief’s time. However, anything left in plain view – from your holiday gifts to spare change, sunglasses, CDs, cell phones or briefcases – may tempt a thief.
– Help prevent your vehicle from being stolen by always locking your car and using anti-theft devices. And never leave your vehicle running while you run inside your home or a store – even if for only a minute or two.