’Tis the season for shopping, and our friends at the North Syracuse Police Department have offered the following tips to keep yourself safe while you’re buying gifts for your loved ones. Heed these to avoid falling victim to unsavory types this holiday season:
• Always be aware of your surroundings.
• Avoid parking in isolated areas.
• Walk in lighted areas and on established paths.
• Have your keys ready versus digging through a purse or bag as you walk through a parking lot.
• Look for and park near security cameras.
• Keep bags in your trunk and not in open view.
• Be alert in crowded places like parking lots, jammed aisles and elevators.
• Safety in numbers; if possible, shop with family or friends.
• If someone makes you uncomfortable, or the situation doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and leave.
• Carry a purse close to the body and hold it tight.
• If you have a number of packages from one store, put them in your trunk before you arrive at the next store, restaurant, etc.
• At home or while shopping, never leave any personal items in your vehicle or in plain sight. This includes money (even loose change), credit cards, cell phones, purses and GPS units.
• Never leave any door unlocked or windows open.
• Always allow yourself extra time; while in a rush, people forget basic safety rules.
• If you see anything suspicious, call 911.
Thanks to the North Syracuse PD, and have a safe and happy holiday season!
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.