If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.
Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.
Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.
Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car.
Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security.
Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.
Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.
Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
If you use lights on your Christmas tree, ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.
Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.
After the packages have all been opened remember to either bag your empty boxes in dark garbage bags or break them down and place them in your garbage cans before you place them on the curb. That way you will not advertise to burglars that you just received a new TV, computer, or other expensive gift.
Strangers at Your Door
Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved.
Ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, do not donate.
Donate to a recognized charitable organization.
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 a 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 ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.
Remember: Larcenies are crimes of opportunity that occur primarily when property is left unlocked or in unattended areas.