The holiday shopping season is underway and will rapidly accelerate this coming Friday with the annual "Day After Thanksgiving" shopping frenzy.
Not only does this time of year bring the chance for retail bargins, it also increases the chance of being the victim of a property crime.
Vehicle break-ins, pickpockets, purse snatchings and residential burglaries are normally on the rise during this period.
The Indiana State Police has offered the following safety tips and reminders during the holiday season:
* Make sure the vehicle is in good working condition, full of fuel, and the cell phone is fully charged,
* Park in well-lit areas, lock the car and put valuable articles in the trunk or out of sight,
* Plan purchases and carry only the amount of cash and/or credit cards needed,
* Carry purses close to the body and wallets in front pant or jacket pockets,
* Do not leave belongings unattended at any time,
* When in restaurants, do not leave purses hanging on the back of the chair or on the floor,
* Pay attention to surroundings at all times, especially to and from parking areas,
* Shop with family and/or friends as there will be a less chance of being singled out as a target for theft,
* If a person(s) appear suspicious, report it to store security of police,
* Make sure the home is secure and under the watchful eye of a trusted neighbor or friend while shopping, and
* When arriving back at home, remain vigilant while unloading packages.