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Safety Steps to Take This Christmas Shopping Season

There are thugs and thieves who will stop at nothing to steal from you and ruin your Christmas.

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday are all behind us. We are in the midst of the Christmas shopping season. Some people complained that this shopping season seemed to begin earlier -- even before Halloween many retail merchants were offering specials leading up to Christmas buying season.

With the shopping season running longer, now we are also hearing more often about packages being stolen from people. The lure of many shoppers making large purchases early in the season causes the thieves to plan ahead as to how they can take from those who have already made their purchases for Christmas.

It is easy to be caught up in the emotion of the moment, and the excitement of knowing a special gift will be discounted at a certain time in certain stores will cause people to act recklessly when they take the newly bought gift back to their vehicle. Just as some people plan ahead with a shopping strategy, they fail to realize how easy it is to leave their gift in plain view in their vehicle and find out too late that someone is wiling to break into their vehicle to steal that special gift from them.

A few words to the wise should be heeded at this point in the Christmas shopping season. First of all, gifts should never be left in plain view in a vehicle. There should be a way to hide them in a trunk or other containers that will place the newly bought gifts out of sight of any person who might walk by a vehicle.

Secondly, always be aware of your surroundings. Know where your vehicle is parked making sure the lighting is good and that others will be nearby as you make your way to your vehicle. When planning several trips to a vehicle to leave packages just purchased, make doubly sure that no one is following you and that you have not attracted undue attention with your large packages. It is best, if possible, that shopping take place with a friend or two so that assurance can be experienced in a group rather than being alone trying to place all the packages in the vehicle.  There are some merchants who are now providing escorts to vehicles after dark making sure the customer is able to make it to their vehicle safely.

This next suggestion is going to sound strange, but unless you know someone very well, do not trust anyone when it comes to your safety in going to your vehicle with large numbers of packages. Do not flash large amounts of money in cash so that others will see what you have in your wallet. Do not brag too much in front of others in the store about the good deal just discovered on an item.

From where I stand, be alert and very careful realizing there are thugs and thieves who will stop at nothing to steal from you and ruin your Christmas.

Follow Ray Newman on Twitter @RayNewmanSr

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