Protect your last minute Christmas shopping with simple steps

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 21, 2017

With Christmas coming up this weekend, the rush find the perfect Christmas present has almost died down. However, the last minute gift rush to stores or splurging on the holiday online deals may bring you back into the holiday hustle.

In the excitement surrounding those efforts to ensure no one is forgotten this holiday, Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker hopes residents don’t forget to protect themselves from preventable burglaries, such as locking car doors and putting presents out of sight in the trunk of a vehicle.

Tucker said potential thieves peek into cars in the parking lots of malls and shopping centers in the hopes of finding an easy target. He said the best way to avoid valuables being stolen is to keep vehicles locked at all times. At times, people leave their cars unlocked expecting to be back in it soon, thus leaving the car and valuables inside as easy targets.

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While shopping at multiple stores, it seems like a good idea to store some purchases in the vehicle. Tucker suggests putting those purchases out of sight in the trunk or in the cargo compartment of an SUV, which comes with a sliding cover.

While locking your car and putting items out of sight are good first steps, additional protection can be found by parking your car in a well-lit spot or highly occupied parking lot.

While in the store, women should secure handbags on their shoulders and avoid leaving purses unattended in a shopping cart. Additionally, you can protect your online purchases by asking delivery personnel to leave your packages in a place hidden from a passerby. Allowing packages to be left on your porch is never a good idea, since it’s an open invitation for less than honest people to easily make off with them.