Local law shares tips for safe, last-minute shopping

Published 9:34 am Friday, December 22, 2017

By this time, most people will have completed any Christmas or other holiday shopping for the year. However, for those who have yet to find the time to visit local stores, the Franklin Police Department has offered the following tips to ensure shoppers and their gifts make it home safely:

• Never leave your car unlocked. Make sure all windows are up and doors are locked.

• Never keep valuable items in your car such as large amounts of cash, credit cards, check books, navigation units, compact disc players, purses or other items. These are best removed and secured in your house or trunk when not in use. The inconvenience of doing this is much less than having them stolen.

• If at all possible, keep your car parked in a well-lit area.

• Be sure to record serial numbers of your valuables in case they are stolen. This will assist police in the recovery of your items.

• If you find that your car has been entered and items are missing, call the police department immediately. Do not wait.

• When shopping, it is best to do so with a friend or friends. There is safety in numbers.

• If you are shopping alone and feel uneasy about going to your car, ask an employee of the store if security could escort you.

• Always be aware of your surroundings.

• Try not to have your arms full of packages. Have your car keys in hand and be ready to get into your car.

• Be sure to place items you purchase in your trunk instead of in the passenger compartment where they can be seen.

• Never leave your personal property in a shopping cart unattended.

• If you observe suspicious people around your car or in the store parking lot, call the police.

Maj. Gene Drewery, spokesman for the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office, also offered the following tips:

• If ordering items online, have packages sent to addresses that will have someone present to receive them if possible.

• Don’t flaunt cash.

• If making a donation online, be sure of the site you are using.

• After Christmas, conceal empty boxes when disposing of them, don’t advertise your gifts.