Police Say To Take Safety Precautions When Shopping This Holiday Season

With the holiday season now upon us, shopping malls and retail stores are increasing their security. Local police departments are adding extra holiday security as well. Starting today, police are out patrolling parking lots and roads to help minimize your chances of becoming a victim to holiday crime. There are safety precautions you can take to help protect yourself. First, try not to leave shopping bags in the back of your car, while you're inside shopping. Instead, police say whenever possible, put everything in your trunk. Randy Scott bought a TV from Best Buy this afternoon. His wife had to go back inside, but Randy stayed in his car while the TV sat in the bed of his truck.

"Your asking for it to get stolen," said Scott. "We're not saying that there's not trustworthy people around, but there's temptation." Temptation, which police say increases during the holiday season. Despite the extra security, shoplifters continue to steal more than $10 billion of merchandise every year. Parking lots, however, are not the only place shoplifters like to go. When using your credit or debit card at a register or ATM, be aware of anyone standing near you as they may be trying to see your card or PIN number. Also, when you leave your house, close your curtains if you have packages under your Christmas tree that can be seen from the window, and if you are going to be out of town for the holidays, stop your mail until you return because an accumulation of mail indicates no one is home. By doing these precautions, police say you reduce your risk of becoming a victim of crime and it will make this holiday season more enjoyable. Police will continue to patrol parking lots and roadways until December 24th.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com