Holiday shopping safety tips from local police
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – In an ABC57 consumer alert, with just a few weeks remaining in the holiday shopping season, the South Bend Police Department wants you to be safe this holiday season.
Police are urging you to be aware of your surroundings in stores and parking lots as you shop.
The department says to keep the doors and windows to your vehicle locked at all times.
Officials advise that your parking spot should be close to the store building and well-lit if shopping in the dark.
When walking to and from your car and the store, officers say to hold your keys in your hand, between your fingers, and avoid distractions like talking on your cell phone.
As you shop, carry only what you need and try to avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Police recommend paying with credit cards or checks when you can.
Police say to keep your purse close to your body, keep valuables in your front pocket, or use a wristlet to prevent pickpockets and purse snatchers.
As always, don’t leave your purse or wallet in the shopping cart unattended.
Once you bring shopping bags back to your vehicle, don’t leave gifts where people can see them. Officers say lock the bags in a trunk or cover them with a blanket.
The South Bend Police Department says if you’re shopping extensively, move your car to a different parking spot if you drop off bags to your car. It could throw off a suspect who may be scouting the parking lot.
Before you head out to shop, police recommend writing down your credit card numbers and leaving them in a safe place to quickly access if your cards are stolen.
And of course if you see any suspicious activity, contact a store security guard or the closest police agency.
Indiana State Troopers say to carry a fully charged phone when you’re out shopping.
If you’ve found a great bargain, although it’s tempting to share, Troopers advise that you don’t post expensive purchases on social media.