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Holiday shopping safety tips

BEAUMONT - From BPD - This week, with the official start of the holiday shopping season, we will see an increase in traffic on our roadways as well as congestion at area retail shopping centers. During this festive shopping season, it is natural to become preoccupied with your shopping list when you are in public. We want to remind everyone to always stay focused on your personal safety when in the public. Following the below common sense tips will help keep this season merry and safe:

- When in the public, always remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings.

-Whenever possible, shop during daylight hours.

-If you must shop at dusk or at night park your car in a well-lit area.

-Use the buddy system and shop with a friend.

-If possible, do not carry a purse.

-If you must carry a purse, wear it across the body to keep it more secure and your hands free.

-Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid or react to mishaps.

-Consolidate packages so you are a less desirable target for criminals looking to steal your belongings.

-Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

-Always scan the parking lot before you leave a store. If you see someone, or a group that appears to be loitering, do not leave the store.

-Always walk with a purpose and scan the parking lot as you walk to your vehicle. Do not look like a victim!

-Have your keys our and ready prior to leaving the store.

-Enter your vehicle quickly and leave as soon as possible.

-Always trust your instincts and act if you feel uncomfortable or threatened.

The odds of you becoming a victim of a violent encounter this holiday season are very low. However, you should always have a plan to keep safe while in the public. The time to make that plan is prior to leaving for your shopping trip.

We will increase patrols at retail shopping centers throughout the city during this holiday season. As you make your shopping list this season, make sure you put your personal safety at the top of that list. Your safety is your primary responsibility.

Holiday shopping safety tips

Thursday, December 6 2012, 10:32 AM CST
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