Delaware State Police urge holiday shoppers to be vigilant and cautious as they enter the busy shopping season.
Troopers say criminal activity rises during this time, so they will increase patrols in shopping centers and malls. But, the first line of defense is to reduce your vulnerability.
Officers offer a few safety tips while shopping:
— Park in high visibility and well lit areas.
— Lock your car and take your keys.
— Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
— Shop with a friend; there is safety in numbers.
— Use credit/debit cards and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
— Keep your purse close to your body at all times and keep your wallet in your front pocket.
— Be extremely careful using ATM machines. Use them in populated places and pay attention to your surroundings.
— Do not leave purchased items visible in the car; leave them in the trunk.
— Report suspicious people or activity immediately.
Keeping your home safe:
— Keep the outside of your home well lit with doors and windows locked.
— Keep gifts hidden from view through outside windows of your residence.
— After opening gifts, break down the boxes of expensive electronics or other gifts and dispose of in a non-clear garbage bag to hid the fact you have valuable items in the home.