Sheriff offering reminders for a safe holiday shopping season

Tips encourage people to be cautious

Photo by Trogain via Wikimedia
Photo by Trogain via Wikimedia

Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight is reminding residents about ways “to shop smart and stay safe this holiday season,” the Sheriff’s Office has announced.

More officers patrol busy retail areas this time of year, a news release notes, but shoppers are encouraged to keep the following tips in mind when heading to the stores:

  • Avoid shopping alone, particularly at night.
  • Park in a well-lighted area, lock vehicle doors and keep the windows shut.
  • Carry purses close to the body and do not reveal large amounts of cash.
  • If using a shopping cart, never leave purses unsecured and keep the purses closed.
  • Do not carry too many packages at one time.
  • Approach your vehicle with keys already in hand.
  • Do not leave your purse in a shopping cart or place it on top of your vehicle when loading purchases.
  • Place all packages out of sight, preferably in the trunk or a covered compartment.
  • Be wary of anyone approaching you. Some people will offer leaflets or ask for donations, but both scenarios can be a ploy to get your money or gifts.
  • When driving home, be aware of vehicles that seem to be following you.

“If you see anything suspicious or if a situation doesn’t feel right, leave the area immediately and contact store security or law enforcement,” the release adds.