Holiday shopping do’s and don’ts
By Madelyn Olsen
’Tis the season to be jolly, and spend lots of time and money holiday shopping.
You may have noticed the increased security presence around your favorite stores, and that’s due to theft rates soaring during the holiday season.
While the holidays are typically a joyful time full of decorations, food and presents from loved ones, for many victims of crime, it is far from joyous.
It is easy to be distracted by the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Here are some basic Do’s and Don’ts issued by the Chicago Police Department:
DO: Be alert. Walk confidently with your head up, and stay in well-lighted and well-traveled areas.
DO: Pay attention to people walking in front of you and behind you. Pay particular attention when you are in crowded areas, such as busses and trains, or malls and stores that are filled with other shoppers. Places with large crowds are favorites for thieves and pickpockets.
DO: Keep purses and/or bags in front of you and close to your body. You can do this by covering flaps or clasps with your hand or forearm.
DON’T: Leave your purse in a shopping cart or on a counter while you pay for your purchases.
DO: Keep wallets and/or change purses in your front pockets or inside the breast pocket of your coat. Always be alert when opening your purse or wallet.
DON’T: Carry open-weave bags or purses without zippers or flaps. Those items are easy marks for pickpockets.
DO: Try to shop with friends or relatives. Not only is there safety in numbers, but shopping in a group will give you a chance to catch up and renew friendships.