Safe Holiday Shopping Tips

As the holiday shopping season is underway with the passing of Black Friday, shoppers now get to enjoy the frantic month of extravagant spending. But the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is warning people to be aware of thieves.

This time of year can also be dangerous if you are not prepared. With large amounts of money exchanging hands and trunks being stuffed full of expensive presents, it is important to take precautions to assure that you are shopping safely. Criminals don’t take the holidays off, so to avoid having all of your shopping come undone, follow these steps.

1) Lock up your car whenever you leave. This may seem like basic advice, yet so many people get their cars broken into simply because they don’t take five seconds to lock the door. Stealing is often a crime of convenience, and pulling on a few door handles to find an unlocked vehicle is very easy.

2) Hide any packages or shopping bags. The best place to put purchases is your trunk, which should be facing the aisle. By pulling into a parking spot head first, you leave your trunk in a more exposed area, where it is harder for potential thieves to discretely break into.

If you do not have a truck, tuck the items under seats or put them in glove boxes. A criminal will be much more likely to enter a vehicle if he/she was sure there was something to steal.

3) Be conscious of your surroundings and watch your possessions. While many crimes occur when a car is left unattended, thieves also target shoppers in malls and department stores. People who do massive amounts of shopping have to haul around multiple bags from store to store. It is common for the person to set down a bag, turn away for a second, only to have the item get taken. Always keep an eye on your purchases.

In addition, make sure you know where your wallet or purse is at all times. With so many things to keep track of, it is easy to misplace your purse while you’re checking out.


With a little self-awareness and caution, you will survive the holiday shopping season without incident. Good luck and happy holidays!

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