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Avoiding holiday theft: tips for shoppers

By Randall Jeppesen | Posted - Nov 24th, 2012 @ 8:49pm

OREM — As soon as holiday shopping begins each year, crime rates go up.

Sgt. Craig Martinez with Orem's Department of Public Safety has a few tips for shoppers that may prevent them from becoming a victim of holiday crime.

He says to use debit and credit cards and recommends not to carry large amounts of cash. He even tells people to only bring only the cards they plan on using for that shopping day and leaving the rest at home.

As for purses, he says leave them at home. If you do have to carry one, make sure it zips closed and your wallet is inside of the zipper pocket. Be sure to watch your bag and never leave it unattended in the cart, inside and outside the store. But what if your card is stolen? Martinez says to plan ahead by photocopying all credit and debit cards and keep them in a safe place at home. That way, he says, you have all the information you need to call and cancel your cards quickly.

Martinez says thieves love holiday shopping because presents are out in plain view. He says too often people run out to their car with armloads of gifts, drop them off and head back into the store. He suggests move your car in case you're being watched by a potential thief.

Martinez also says that if you're between stores, cover your purchases with a blanket or keep them locked up in the trunk, out of sight.

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