Police offer tips to keep safe while holiday shopping

Nov 21 2012 - 8:43pm

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Layton police are offering tips for holiday shoppers to keep themselves and their purchases safe from thieves. (Standard-Examiner file photo)
Layton police are offering tips for holiday shoppers to keep themselves and their purchases safe from thieves. (Standard-Examiner file photo)

LAYTON -- Layton police are asking residents to stay alert and follow some simple tips to keep the holidays safe and crime free.

Here are some things you can do:

1. Always lock your vehicle.

2. Do not leave gifts or other items of value in plain view inside a vehicle.

3. When possible, park your vehicle in well-lit areas and avoid parking next to oversized vehicles that can be used by a criminal for concealment.

4. Try to shop before dark and with a friend or family member.

5. Do not display expensive jewelry or large sums of money.

6. Consider using a debit or credit card and take only the cards you intend to use.

7. If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other. Select a central meeting place and teach the kids they can ask a police officer, mall security officer or store personnel for help.

8. Have your keys in hand before approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.

9. Stay off your cellphone as you walk to and from your vehicle. It is a distraction that makes you vulnerable to criminals, and your cellphone itself may be a tempting target.

10. Carry a purse or shoulder bag close to your body, not dangling by straps. Put a wallet in an inside pocket of your coat or front pants pocket.

11. If you believe someone is following you, cross the street, switch directions, walk into a busy store or activate a personal security alarm.

12. Before shopping online, make sure your security software is active and up to date.

13. Do not respond to requests to "verify" your password or credit card information unless you initiated the contact. Legitimate businesses will not contact you for verfications.

14. Shop with companies you know and trust. Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the icon of a locked padlock at the bottom of the screen or "https" in the URL address.

15. Shred shipping labels and other items that list your name, address and other information.

16. Unload packages from your vehicle inside your garage with the garage door closed.

17. If you are leaving town, make arrangements for someone to watch your home and pick up your mail, packages and newspapers.

18. Lock your doors and windows and ensure that your garage doors are closed.

19. Do your homework before donating to new charities.

20. Do not drink and drive.

If you are the victim of a crime, immediately report the incident to your local police department.

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