Don’t be a victim when doing Christmas shopping

Christmas-shopping-2

By Fionia McElligot

The holiday season is upon us and unfortunately with the increase of seasonal shopping comes an increase of theft. Robbers are aware that people are likely to carry more money on them when Christmas shopping and store purchases in their car. Therefore pick-pocketing and theft from cars are particularly common around the holiday season. In December, the peak times for cars to be broken into are Tuesday to Friday between 2pm and 9pm, when most people do their Christmas shopping.

Here are some tips to avoid being a victim of crime this Christmas.

When out and about:

  • Watch out for pickpockets in crowded places.
  • Keep bags zipped.
  • Don’t carry wallets or phones in your back pockets.
  • Don’t leave shopping unattended especially in your car.
  • In bars and restaurants be careful where you store coats and bags, keep them in sight.

If you do leave shopping in the car:

  • Park your car in a secure and well lit area.
  • Close windows.
  • Always lock your car.
  • Store property in the boot.
  • Don’t leave any valuables on view inside the car, including coats and bags. Even when parked at home.

Other advice is to not have presents on show in your house and be careful where you store valuables in your house, as many burglars know the traditional hiding places for such items. If you are expecting deliveries, insure someone is there to receive them or arrange for a neighbour to take them. If you are going away tell neighbours/ friends and take usual precautions such as using timed lights and alarms.

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