Season’s Thievings

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Even though there are intentions of “good will towards men,” there are still people like the Grinch who try to take away people’s joy.

Since Christmas is a time for giving, some people will take advantage of that in a negative way.

During this busy season of excitement and shopping, we can be vulnerable to theft and other
crimes.

In order to keep your season “holly and jolly,” here are some preventative steps from the Los Angeles Police Department to ensure your safety during this time of the year.

1. Dress casual and comfortable. Shopping requires a good deal of exercise and it’s not fun to run around from store to store in high heels or a suit. Even though accessories “complete the outfit,” do not wear expensive jewelry, as this might attract potential criminals. For instance, turn your diamond ring around so all that shows is the band, or tuck your necklace inside your shirt or blouse.

2. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Instead, pay for your purchases with a check or debit card. Keep cash in your front pocket, if you prefer to use it. When carrying a wallet or purse, stay cautious because it can be a prime target for criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, buses and other rapid transits. Keep your purse securely around your shoulder.

3. Take your shopping trips during the day. However, if you must go at night, have a friend or family member go with you. Remember, there is safety in numbers.

4. Between the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the scent of hot chocolate, sights of Christmas decorations, as well as millions of others things rushing through your head can make you vulnerable and a target. Always be aware and alert of your surroundings.

5. Make sure to keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Do not leave your packages on the seat of the car because it can tempt thieves to break into your car. Instead, put the gifts in your trunk. If there is no room in your trunk, put it on the floor and cover it with a jacket.

6. Should it become necessary to shop during the evening, park in a well-lit area. Moreover, do not park next to vans, trucks with camper shells or cars with tinted windows. When arriving or leaving from your shopping trip, be aware of your surroundings. If there are suspicious people standing by your car, do not go to it. Instead, ask the mall or store security for an escort before leaving.

This season may be about giving, but that does not mean you have to give up your safety.

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