Shoppers asked to use caution while shopping during the holiday season

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FLORENCE, Ala. - ‘Tis the season to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, it is also a season to take extra precautions. With lots of us preparing to hit shopping malls and stores, we need to keep a few things in mind.

It is true, we all get distracted with so much stuff these days, and whether it is our phone peeping or kids, we lose focus in our surroundings. While we are out this holiday season, police urge us stay focused on what is around.

112116-det-alex-guynn“Definitely be aware of what’s around you, who’s around you, what cars are around you,” explained Det. Alex Guynn with Florence Police Department. “But as far as keeping your cars and property safe, we push the Take It or Trunk it.”

Detective Guynn said to put your stuff in a secure location, preferably in a locked trunk.

Keep packages or personal items out of view and if you do not have a trunk, cover items up with a blanket.

“Lock your cars, hide your stuff,” stated Guynn. “If you’re going to leave your stuff in plain view, you might as well advertise it, come steal it. Because that is what people do, they look for that opportunity.”

112416-sacs-10pm-pkgGuynn also said to shop with a friend. Avoid walking through parking lots alone. He added, bad guys could attack day or night. So, if you feel uncomfortable going to your car, have someone from the store escort you.

“This season, where it is so busy, bad guys can really blend into the crowd, hide. There’s so much traffic in the shopping areas, there’s so much traffic in the parking lots, they can really move around easily and not be noticed,” said Guynn.

With these tips in mind, the Shoals Area Crime Stoppers hope you can have a safe and joyful holiday season.