The Michigan State Police Gladstone Post reminds holiday shoppers that following a few safety precautions can help this season remain fun for all.
"A primary factor in crime prevention is being aware of your surroundings and potential areas of danger," stated Trooper Dale Hongisto of the Gladstone Post. "By staying alert and following a few safety tips, most holiday crimes can be avoided."
Mall shopping safety tips:
- Avoid shopping alone. Use the buddy system whenever possible.
- Park in well-lit, well-trafficked areas. Always lock your vehicle and put away any valuables.
- Have your keys in hand before exiting the shopping area and returning to your vehicle.
- Do not keep packages in plain view in your vehicle; keep packages in the trunk of your car or covered by a blanket.
- Be alert, pay attention to your surroundings and move with a purpose; don't dally.
- Carry your purse close to your body. If at all possible, do not bring a purse. Keep your wallet in a front or zipped pocket.
- Do not carry large amounts of cash. Bring just one credit or debit card.
- Do not count cash in open areas, especially after leaving an ATM machine.
- Remain vigilant of your environment by paying close attention to where you are and knowing what you would do if something happened.
- Remember where you are located within buildings and where the nearest emergency exit is.
- If you see something suspicious, immediately notify law enforcement.
Online shopping safety tips:
- Shop only on Internet sites of companies you know and trust.
- Only use secure Web sites. To determine if a web site is secure, look for a key or closed padlock at the bottom browser window and a URL that begins with "https," not just "http."
- Ensure your computer has the latest anti-virus software installed before shopping online.
- Beware of E-mails offering cut-rate prices on popular items; if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.