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November 28, 2012

Safe shopping tips

NORMAN — The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office and the Norman Police Department caution citizens to be aware of theft and other crime during the holiday season.

As people visit shopping malls and plan trips, they may become more vulnerable to burglars and thieves.

“Criminals don’t take the holiday season off. Enjoy time with family and friends and be safe,” Sheriff Joe Lester said.

Law enforcement encourages everyone to keep these shopping safety tips in mind:

· Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

· If shopping at night, park vehicles in a lighted area.

· Dress casually and comfortably.

· Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.

· Be extra careful if you carry a wallet or purse. They are prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas.

· Always carry your driver’s license or identification along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.

· Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

· If you carry cash, keep it in your front pocket.

· Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.

· Notify the credit card issuer and the police immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.

· Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

· Stay alert to your surroundings, even though you may be rushed.

· Remain alert to strangers approaching you. Con artists may try various methods of distracting you.

· Keep vehicle windows rolled up and lock car doors.

· Do not leave packages or sacks of merchandise visible in the car while shopping. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to break into an automobile and steal your property.

· Thieves could be lurking in neighborhoods. If any vehicles look suspicious, call law enforcement immediately.

· Keep Christmas trees and gifts out of view for criminals. Lock all doors and set any security alarms before leaving home.

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