POSTED: Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 7:10pm
UPDATED: Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 7:25pm
EL PASO- If you plan to do some holiday shopping anytime soon, you should be aware that thieves are stealing presents from cars parked in plain sight.
The El Paso Police Department says a lot of safety tips may seem to be common sense, but it's the little things that can keep your purchases away from thieves.
Shopper Cami Bostick is well aware, car thieves are targeting you this holiday shopping season.
"They'll do whatever it takes and that's the sad thing,” said Bostick.
Darrel Petry with The El Paso Police Department says one of the most important steps you can take is keep your gifts out of sight.
"With gifts in your car, if you are going to be out and if you are doing multiple stops, of course you need to put those someplace where an opportunistic burglar or thief wouldn't see those. Of course, securing them in the trunk of your car. If you have to put them in your backseat, make sure they are covered,” said Petry.
Also, before entering a store, park in a smart place.
"When you are approaching a store, whether it be a store or a mall, and if your entering the store at daylight and you know you are going to be there when it becomes dark, always look for a light, a parking lot light. It's always best to park in a well-lit area,” said Petry.
Bassett Place security guard Jesus Torrez says that shoppers' carelessness can make them a victim.
"Make sure you close all of your doors. You might think you closed it, but a lot of times doors are left wide open. We have to make sure doors are locked, and we do go around and actually close the doors for a lot of customers,” said Torrez.
Torrez also says during the busy shopping season, shoppers themselves can play a vital role in keeping the parking lots safe.
"It's really hard to see everything that is going on. It really is and we need everyone's help just to let us know what's going on. We can't be everywhere at once, especially during this time. It's hard. We do bring in the extra staff for the holidays. We try to get this place as secure as possible, but it's impossible to be at all places at once,” said Torrez.
Bostick says she is happy to keep an extra look-out for criminals if it helps keep shoppers and their purchases safe.
"I think a lot of people are trying to be conscientious. It’s just, it's hard to remember everything when you have so much on your mind, but to concentrate on it is very important,” said Bostick.
The Texas Department of Public Safety says last year over 250,000 vehicles were broken into, and that means on average in Texas a vehicle is broken into every two minutes.