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We are fast approaching the holiday season when we all get a little busier and the shopping centers get a lot more crowded. Unfortunately, this is also a time when theft and crime increases and busy people can become vulnerable targets of these criminals.  Here are a few tips to stay safe during the holiday season:

• Avoid driving alone or at night.

• Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or    use an anti-theft device.

• If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area.

• Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted  windows.

• Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you   parked.

• Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.

• Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.

• Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.

• Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.

• When approaching and leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.

• Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.

• Make sure a family member of friend knows where you are and when you expect to be home.