The Las Cruces Police Department is reminding holiday shoppers of some basic safety tips that will help keep them out of harm's way and should make this a more enjoyable time of year.
Possibly the most sensible rule also doubles as the most enjoyable: take a friend and travel in pairs. Women and men are less vulnerable to criminal activity when traveling as a pair.
Some additional shopping safety tips include:
• Do not leave valuables or merchandise visible in a vehicle. Conceal those items in a trunk or take them home before continuing to shop.
• Roll up windows and lock doors when leaving your vehicle.
• If you take children shopping, keep them within sight and close at all times.
• Do not allow young children to go shopping on their own.
• Never leave children or pets in a parked vehicle.
• If possible, avoid placing a purse in a shopping cart. If you do, use the cart’s safety strap to help secure it.
• Carry your purse close to your body or, better yet, avoid taking a purse and carry a wallet in a front pocket.
• When possible pay for items with a credit or debit card and avoid flashing large amounts of cash while shopping.
• Do not overburden yourself by carrying too many bags or packages – especially in darkened or busy parking lots.
• If shopping after dark, park in a well-lighted area and near the storefront.
• A second parking option is to park near the shopping cart return “corral” so you can unload merchandise and return the cart without walking across a parking lot.
• Do not hesitate to ask store security for an escort to your vehicle.
• Always be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity.
• Tell a friend or family member when and where you’re going, and when you’re expected to return.