Protect yourself this holiday season with these shopping safety tips

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Black Friday Shopping

(November 25, 2015) – Now that the holiday season is officially upon us, the Noblesville Police Department would like to remind shoppers of a few safety tips to protect themselves during the holiday season.

Parking lots at shopping centers and malls can be a magnet for crime such as thefts from vehicles and purse-snatchings, especially during the hectic holiday season. It is important to always be aware of your surroundings in order to minimize the potential for becoming victimized.

  • Park only in well-lighted and highly visible locations.
  • Park in areas where there is regular vehicular/pedestrian traffic.
  • Always lock doors and activate the car alarm.
  • Remove any and all valuables that can be seen from the outside of your vehicle and place them in your trunk (items such as GPS devices, cellular phones, cash and coins and recently purchased merchandise are highly sought after by criminals).
  • Be very alert when walking to and from your vehicle in parking lots as it is much easier for criminals to hide between vehicles. Try to avoid talking on your cellular phone or engaging in conversation with anyone that may be accompanying you. This will only serve to distract you as you’re walking to and from your vehicle.
  • For women, be sure to secure your purse in such a way that it would be difficult for a stranger to walk up and grab. When possible, leave as many valuables at home or secured in your vehicle in order to become less of a potential target.
  • Trust your instincts if you see someone that concerns you…find another parking space, change directions or yell for help.
  • Keep your keys in your hands and use your remote “panic” alarm as a warning device in order to the draw the attention of others and to potentially ward off any strangers when you feel concerned or threatened.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. If you are carrying cash, try to keep it in your front pocket.
  • Generally speaking, consider the idea that most property can be replaced. A physical confrontation with a criminal may not be in your best interest if the issue is just over property.
  • If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a mall or well-lighted location. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need. Be sure to protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
  • If you must take children, teach them to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
  • Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security. Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.