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Tips to have safe holiday shopping season

November 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Police are reminding the public that it's not just the season of giving - it's also the season of taking for criminals.

In just a few days, there will be a lot of shoppers out for Black Friday. Shoppers become distracted, and sometimes people will leave cars unlocked and leave valuables out.

"From Thanksgiving to the end of the year, we have had burglary, theft for motor vehicles increases anywhere from 6 to 12 percent," said LAPD Commander Jim Cansler.

At a news conference outside of a shopping mall in Canoga Park on Tuesday, LAPD officers spoke about the need for holiday shoppers to take some basic precautions during what can be very a very hectic season.

Burbank Police had the same message and offered these tips:

  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry/clothing. You become an easy target for thieves.
  • Do not carry large sums of cash. It's always better to use credit cards because they can be canceled if they are stolen.
  • Hold purses close to body.
  • Wallets should be carried inside a coat pocket. You can also put a rubber band around a wallet to increase friction in case someone tries to pick your pocket.
  • Lock vehicles.
  • Do not leave valuables in plain sight, like portable GPS devices and iPods.

"It's amazing the number of observations that we make in the field, where people have very expensive items in the car that are visible," said Burbank Police interim Chief Scott LaChasse. "Sometimes the car is unlocked, sometimes the window are down, so what we do need to do is be accountable and make sure that we look back and make sure that our possessions are secure."

Police also reminded the public to be patient. It's the holiday season, and parking will be frustrating, so give yourself extra time.

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