Do you stop at your car to put holiday gifts in the back seat or trunk as you move from store to store? Do you park your car, get out and put valuables in the trunk before going inside the mall? Both of those are invitations to thieves trolling through our communities' major shopping areas.
Alpharetta Department of Public Safety spokesman George Gordon today sent out a reminder to residents that the holidays are the “season of choice” for those who want to commit property crimes.
"By taking a few proactive steps, you, the citizen, can lessen your chances of becoming a victim," Gordon said.
As an editor I try not to be part of a story, but reading crime reports from Alpharetta and Milton has prompted me to warn shoppers who have left their purses in the shopping cart and walked away. It doesn't take much effort for a thief to steal a purse when you have your back turned to the cart and are half an aisle away.
Shopping and Safety Tips
- Always try to shop in pairs.
- Try not to shop late at night or alone.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times; especially at ATM machines.
- Park in well-lit areas and observe your surroundings.
- If applicable keep your cellphone charged.
- Keep control of your purse or wallet.
- Do not carry or display large amounts of cash.
- Do not wear flashy jewelry while shopping.
- Do not give out personal or financial information unless you trust the source.
- Do not give out debit or credit card PIN numbers.
- DO NOT leave valuables in your car such as GPS units, purses, laptops and cell phones.
- Immediately lock your purchases in a trunk – or better yet – immediately take them home.
- Observe your route while traveling from a store to your residence.
If you observe suspicious persons or activity please contact our non-emergency number at 678-297-6300. For emergencies call 911. You may leave a confidential tip at 678-297-6307.
The Alpharetta Department of Public Safety offers these tips as a service to our citizens and wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday season!