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The holiday shopping season is upon us and the Indiana State Police would like to share some helpful safety tips. Many shoppers will begin their day in the darkness of the early morning hours and end in the late evening hours, leaving shoppers vulnerable at times to potential criminal activity. To counter anyone wishing to perform criminal acts on unsuspecting shoppers, the Indiana State Police offer the following precautions:
• Be aware of your surroundings.
• Park in a well-lighted area and be sure to lock your car.
• Use extra caution when walking to and from your car, preferably with a friend.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
• Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Don't overburden yourself with packages. Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a rubber band around your wallet and place in the inside coat or front pants pocket.
• Do not leave purses unattended in shopping carts.
• Place gifts and other valuables in the trunk of your car.
• Keep your car doors and windows locked at all times.
• Make sure your car is good mechanical condition.
• Carry a fully charged cell phone with you.
• Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if they get separated from you.
• If you notice suspicious activity, contact store security or the nearest police agency. Especially if you notice person or persons loitering around your vehicle.
• Remember, the most important tip is to know who and what is around you. Stay alert and be aware of what's going on around you at all times.