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It’s that time of year again where everyone is running around frantically from one store to the next trying to buy the perfect gift for that special someone, while trying to save money. Most shoppers do not remember or take the time to follow some easy safety precautions to ensure their well-being. William Whitfield from Community Services said they do not see a big increase in crimes during the holiday season. He did however stress the Lock Take Hide program they have. “Our biggest crime in Victoria is the burglary of motor vehicles,” Whitfield said. “Making sure people lock their cars and hide any belongings they leave in the car, or take the stuff out of their cars.” Here is a reminder of some of these safety tips you should use to help guarantee your protection.

·Remove valuables from car or out of site before parking. Any technical device can be an eye catcher for thieves in a parking lot full of unattended cars.

·Park in a well-lit area, and be aware of the people around you, especially near your car.

·Don’t overload yourself with packages. You make yourself an easy target to overcome or snatch from if you do. Make a few trips to your car to unburden yourself of packages.

·Lock your gifts in the trunk, so they cannot be seen.

·If shopping in the evening, shop with a friend. There is power in numbers.

·Carry only the charge cards you will need. Do not carry or flash large sums of money. If you do carry a purse keep it next to you and men should carry wallets in the front or inside pockets.

·Instruct your children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if you become separated.

·If you have to wait for a ride, wait in a busy, well-lit place. Be alert and aware of your surroundings.

·Have keys ready to unlock car doors or use for protection if necessary.

·If you do happen to be a victim of a crime, report is to police immediately. Also do not hesitate to report to the store security any suspicious activity you see.

While you are out shopping for your loved ones remember these three little words Lock, Take, Hide. Hopefully these easy tips will help keep you safe this holiday season.