Image of woman placing bags of gifts in her carThe holidays are a special time for gift giving and lots of good cheer.

It’s also a time when some unscrupulous people may try to take advantage of the season’s good will.

Residents are reminded to be careful while out shopping and celebrating this season.

Here are some tips from the county’s Department of Public Safety to keep yourself safe:



  • Be aware of the people around you as you shop. Shop with a friend or family member, especially after dark.
  • Do not display large sums of cash. Avoid wearing a lot of expensive jewelry.
  • Pocketbooks should be zippered or clasped shut and carried between your arm and body. Wallets should be carried in a front pants pocket.
  • Always try to park in well-lighted and well-traveled sections of a parking garage or parking lot. Take note of the aisle or section where you park so you can get to your car promptly when you return.
  • Take a good look around before you get out of your car. Be sure to lock your car.
  • Do not leave items you purchased in plain sight in your car. If you must leave items in the car, lock them in the trunk. But be aware that thieves are known to watch for people who place items in their trunk and then go back to do more shopping.
  • Have your keys out and ready when you return to your car. It is best not to become distracted or be fumbling for your keys as you walk through a parking lot or garage.
  • Be aware of the people around you in parking lots or garages. Is anyone following you? Does someone appear to be loitering or out of place? If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, contact security personnel immediately. Trust your instincts.
  • The holidays are a busy time on the roadways. Thousands of motorists will be on the road, making driving more stressful. Be extra vigilant while driving this time of year. Remember, don’t drink and drive, and have a designated driver for holiday parties.