There's a very important group of people we sometimes forget about over the holidays -- people we need to take the time to think about as we make our mad dashes for gifts on Black Friday and beyond. We are, of course, talking about crooks. Thieving, conniving, crookedy crooks, and the Harris County Sheriff's Office wants to help folks cut down on the chances of being a target.
"HCSO deputies will be out in full force throughout Harris County this holiday season, looking for thieves wanting to take advantage of shoppers, and making sure shoppers are armed with safety tips," according to a press release.
The HCSO's Auto Theft Unit recommends the following:
- "Do not carry large sums of cash, or a purse or wallet that can easily be grabbed. Large wallets that protrude out of the back pocket, and handbags that cannot be secured are prime targets while you are shopping or walking to and from your vehicle. Make sure that all valuables have been removed from your vehicle before leaving home." (Hair Balls actually avoids the whole wallet situation by stuffing all our cash down our pants).
- "Be mindful of your parking spot and park as close as possible to the doors. It is much safer to shop in the day time hours, but if you cannot avoid being out at night, make sure you park in a well-lit, high-traffic area."
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- "LOCK your car and TAKE your keys. The failure to do these two things just enhanced your chances of becoming a victim." (We actually further reduce the chances of our car being stolen by slashing our own tires before we go into the mall. Trust us, it works.)
- "Walk in and out of the shopping center with other shoppers, and if you feel vulnerable at all, wait until someone is walking in or have a security guard escort you."
- "Do not take packages to your car and then return to shopping. Thieves watch the parking lot for this type of activity and target vehicles with valuables inside. Packages should be secured in the vehicle trunk only before leaving to go home."
Now go out and (safely) get us some presents!