Holiday Shopping Safety Tips From the Greencastle Police Department

The Christmas Shopping Season is in full swing and with Christmas just around the corner the Greencastle Police Department wants to share some safety tips for this Christmas season.

The Greencastle Police Department is issuing the following holiday safety tips to be shared with the members of the Greencastle Community.  The Greencastle Police Department wants everyone to have a safe holiday shopping season. Here are some safety tips to follow while at home or out shopping:

Safety Tips at Home:

  1. Be sure to lock your doors and windows when leaving home.
  2. Store your gifts away from doors and windows to where they can’t be seen especially if you leave home.
  3. If you leave your home leave lights on and keep a radio or television to make it appear someone is home.
  4. If you take a long holiday trip have a neighbor or family member watch your home.  Have some lights activated by an automatic timer.  Have some one gather your mail and take care of the outside such as snow removal from the drive and sidewalk.  Have the neighbors even use your drive way to park vehicles in while gone for long periods of time.
  5. Be aware of solicitors collecting donations for charitable events.  Ask for identification along with how the funds are being used.
  6. Immediately following the holidays make sure you document new serial numbers on all gifts.
  7. Avoid leaving boxes from gifts such as: TV’s, Computer’s, Video Games, etc. out on the curb for trash pick up.  Take them to a recycling location for discarding.

Safety Tips for Shopping:

  1. Stay alert; be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
  2. Park in well lit parking lots and near an entrance or exit.
  3. If at all possible shop during daylight hours.
  4. Coordinate your shopping days with friends or family.  There is safety in numbers.
  5. Prior to shopping, leave all articles of value at home or lock them up in your trunk.  Don’t leave them lying out in your vehicle for people to see.
  6. When leaving your vehicle make sure all doors and windows are locked.
  7. Don’t carry large amounts of cash on your person.  Make your purchases with a check, debit card, or credit card when possible.
  8. If you carry a purse, secure it tightly under your arm.  Keep wallets secured in the front pants pocket or jacket pocket.
  9. If you make several purchases and make several trips back to your vehicle, lock packages in your trunk out of sight.
  10. Watch for people who could be following you.  If you feel like someone may be following you return to the store and notify security.
  11.  If you shop with your children, create a safety plan with them just in case you get separated.  Make sure they know your cell phone number.  Have a central meeting place and review with your children who to seek if they need help either a store clerk or security guard.
  12.  Put your keys in your hand as you exit the store and approach your vehicle.  This will prevent you wasting time digging around in your purse or pocket trying to find them and it can also be used as self defense weapon if needed.

By following these safety tips for both in the home and while shopping the Greencastle Police Department hopes everyone has a safe holiday season.  I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Chief Thomas Sutherlin

Greencastle Police Department