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Some helpful tips for holiday shoppers

Now that the 2009 Christmas shopping rush has officially begun, here are a few suggestions for shoppers.

Always make sure to lock your vehicles. And never forget to lock your doors at home.

Park in lighted areas whenever possible on shopping trips.

When possible, cover all gifts and packages left in vehicles. Gifts in plain sight inside vehicles are an open invitation to thieves.

Try to place gifts in your home where they cannot be easily seen from windows. A Christmas tree in front of a window with gifts stacked underneath make a pretty sight….especially for someone wanting to break into your house and ruin your holiday.

Be careful not to show you have a lot of cash when waiting to check out in stores. And, be careful with debit and credit cards as well.

During rush times like Christmas professional con artist prey on those looking for that fantastic buy. Remember, if a person’s offer seems too good to be true, it usually is.

When possible shop with a friend or friends. A single shopper walking in a parking lot is a much bigger target for thieves than several in a group.

Be a good neighbor and watch homes in your neighborhood when you know the owners are away. Suspicious strangers around homes should be reported to authorities.

Christmas is suppose to be a time of fun, visiting with family and friends and all around good cheer. Use a little caution as you shop this year and it can be.