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Police Department
Safety Tips for Holiday Shopping, Travelling

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                  November 22, 2017

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA . . . The holiday season is here, and the Prince William County Police Department reminds residents of some basic safety tips they can practice, whether the holiday entails travel, shopping or sightseeing.

Jostling through crowded shopping malls or sidewalks while carrying your jacket, or juggling countless bags, makes you an attractive target to criminals looking to grab wallets, purses, and your purchases.

If you will be shopping or sightseeing:

  • Do not carry large amounts of cash, or more than two credit cards.
  • Wallets should be carried in a front pants pocket, rather than in a rear pants pocket or a jacket.
  • Hold your purse close to your body with the opening facing toward the body.
  • Do not wear large amounts of valuable jewelry.
  • Consolidate purchases into one or two large shopping bags so you can keep track of everything.
  • Never leave your purchases unattended, even for a minute.
  • Do not walk alone around shopping areas, banks and convenience stores.
  • Walk in well-lighted areas, and avoid dark, unlit shortcuts.
  • While using an ATM, look around from time to time and be aware of what is happening around you. If anything suspicious happens, immediately cancel your transaction and leave.

If you are traveling for the holidays, make your home look "lived in" while you are gone. Avoid the temptation to turn off exterior lights to save money, and enlist the help of a trusted neighbor, friend or family member to help achieve this goal.

If you will be out of town:

  • Have a trusted neighbor collect your mail, newspapers and advertisements, and even park their car in your driveway from time to time.
  • Provide that neighbor with your contact information in the event of an emergency.
  • Use timers to turn lights off and on. Put an automatic timer on several lights and the radio.
  • Leave shades, blinds and curtains in their normal positions.
  • Lock all doors and windows in your home. Secure the garage and shed, and secure valuable items that are inside these structures.

Following these basic tips can help ensure a happy holiday for you and yours, as well as bring peace of mind that your property is secure.

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