Valdosta Daily Times

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December 8, 2013

Shopping: Better to watch out

-- — The old song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” warns: “You better watch out ...” Good advice for children hoping for a Christmas Eve visit from old St. Nick, but also good advice for shoppers this holiday season. The song also mentions checking lists twice ... though The Times has published one cautionary reminder this holiday season, it’s worth repeating.

With crime reports seemingly on the rise, shoppers should watch out for their surroundings, people acting suspiciously, and for themselves.

— Lock your car, even if you’re just running in somewhere for a moment. If you have valuables in view, they can be gone very quickly.

— Don’t leave gifts you have purchased in plain sight. Thieves watch parking lots and look for shoppers who walk their packages to their cars before going back inside to shop more. Best to place them in your trunk, or take them on home.

— Try to plan your shopping around peak

times. When the stores first open, around mid-day through the early evening tend to be the most congested.

— Be aware of your surroundings, don’t shop by yourself if you are making purchases you can’t easily carry yourself, and avoid walking to your car alone, particularly if it is parked some distance from the store.

— Keep your receipts separate from your bags. If your bags are stolen, you can use the receipts to back up your claim with your insurance company and to make a police report.

With the economic issues today, everyone is having to budget carefully to buy what they can, and it would be a shame to lose it because you are not being careful enough.

Give yourself a gift this season by shopping safely.

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