Here’s some advice to last-minute Christmas shoppers: Be on the lookout for Grinches who would like to make off with your holiday presents.
This is a busy week for crooks who prey on distracted shoppers who fail to lock the doors and windows of their cars or their homes. The National Crime Prevention Council says nearly 60 percent of all burglaries reported this season will show no sign of forced entry.
There are steps homeowners can take to make sure their Christmas is not spoiled by a thieving Grinch. The National Citizens Crime Prevention Campaign suggests taking a home inventory, complete with photographs and serial numbers of all valuable items.
If you’re going out for the evening, be sure to turn on lights and a radio or television so it looks like someone is home. And if you will be traveling for the holidays, get an automatic timer for your lights. Have your mail and newspaper delivery stopped and ask a neighbor to watch your home while you are away.
The NCCPC also advises shoppers take extra precautions during the holidays. It’s OK to enjoy the Christmas decorations and merchandise, but remember to stay alert to what is going on around you.
Always lock your car doors and never leave packages visible through car windows. Your best bet is to lock all packages in the trunk.
Holiday shoppers should avoid carrying large amounts of cash and pay for merchandise with checks or credit cards as much as possible. Take only the amount of cash you will need in a purse or wallet, and keep a tight hold on it.
And remember, one of the best ways to keep the thieves away this holiday season is to lock all doors and windows before leaving your home.