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 any person(s) wishing to perform criminal acts on unsuspecting shoppers, the Indiana State Police is offering the following safety tips and reminders:
* Stay alert and be aware of what's going on around you,
* Park in a well-lit area and be sure to lock the car,
* Use extra caution when walking to and from the car, preferable with a friend,
* Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay with a check or credit card when 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 truck of your car,
* Keep your car doors and windows locked at all times,
* Make sure your car is in 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,
* If you notice suspicious activity, contact store security or the nearest police agency.
Especially if you notice person or persons loitering around your vehicle, and
* Remember, the most important tip is to know who and what is around you at all times.
This includes driving to and from your shopping ventures.