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Reno Police Department offers safe holiday shopping tips



1300123_fff2-7215570-5325828The Reno Police Department would like to wish all of its citizens a happy and safe holiday season. To ensure a wonderful season for you and your family, the department would like to offer the following safety tips while shopping and at home. Safety starts with the individual. A little bit of preplanning and preparation can go a long way to ensuring a safe and happy holiday season.

Holiday crime prevention tips while shopping

* If possible, shop with a friend or family member. There is safety in numbers.
* Avoid carrying large sums of cash or multiple forms of credit. If possible, pay with a check or carry a single credit card.
* Keep your receipts with you, not in your shopping bag, and NEVER throw them away in or around stores.
* If you carry a purse or wallet, use the shoulder straps when possible, or hook it to your belt or clothing. Never place a purse or bag in shopping cart. Thieves often will work in teams to distract victims and steal these items.
* Be aware of your surroundings and people who appear more focused on your activities then their own.
* Watch your shopping bags while eating at food courts and/or shopping at multiple stores; bags can be easily switched or stolen.
* Don’t overburden yourself with too many items at one time.
* When shopping with small children, take extra time to discuss safety tips with your children before heading out.
* Don’t tempt a thief by leaving your purchases in plain view in your vehicle. Place purchases in your trunk and lock your vehicle. Also park in well-lit and regularly traveled areas.

Holiday crime prevention tips around your home

* Keep windows and blinds closed while not home and make sure all your doors are locked, including the garage main door.
* Use automatic timers on lights to give the appearance of someone home (while away at those holiday events).
* Completely break down and throw away boxes and packaging material in garbage cans.
* When shopping on line, request to pick up packages at the customer service shipping center or your neighborhood post office. Don’t ship to addresses where people are not home to receive them during the day.
* And finally, report all suspicious activity to your store’s or mall’s security officers and the police department.

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