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Safely shopping for the holidays

by Sgt. Christie Wood
| November 22, 2010 8:00 PM

If you venture out to the area malls and grocery stores, you will observe holiday shoppers carefully selecting special gifts for loved ones and neighbors.

This time of year brings out the best in many people with their generosity, as well as the worst in some with their character flaws. Please take the time to ensure your personal safety by following these safety tips:

Shopping Safety:

• Don't overload yourself with packages. Drive home if possible in between destinations and unload your gifts.

• Do not leave a purchased gift in the back seat of the car with a blanket over it (burglars look for that).

• If you must shop in the evening, shop with a friend.

• Park in well-lighted areas, as close as possible to store entrances. Be particularly aware of persons in the parking lot, especially near your car.

• Lock your car and make sure the windows are closed.

• Carry only the charge cards you will need. Don't carry or flash large sums of cash.

• Carry your purse next to your body with the purse flap against you. Men should carry their wallets in front pockets or on the inside pockets of jackets.

• Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Don't allow your attention to become distracted from your purse or packages.

• Teach children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if you become separated in a store or shopping mall.

• Don't hesitate to notify store security if you see suspicious activity.

• If you have to wait for a ride, wait in a busy, well-lighted place.

Place your personal safety in the forefront of your thoughts as you enjoy all that this season has to offer. On behalf of Chief Wayne Longo and the Coeur d'Alene Police Department, we would like to wish all of our citizens and visitors a safe and happy holiday season.

Sgt. Christie Wood is Public Information Officer for the Coeur d'Alene Police Department.

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