EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso Police Department’s Auto Theft Task Force is offering tips to holiday shoppers on how to protect themselves from a car thief or burglar.
Here are 6 ways you can protect yourself while you are holiday shopping, according to the Auth Theft Task Force.
- Watch where you park. Find a parking space as close as you can to the store entrance and under a light if it’s dark. Make a note of any nearby signs, poles, or other landmarks to make it easier to find your way back. Try to avoid parking next to large vans or SUVs that give a thief privacy.
- Lock it up. It may sound obvious, but law enforcement Professionals say that many thefts are the result of unlocked cars. Double-check to make sure you close the windows and lock all the doors before leaving the car. And don’t forget the sunroof.
- Hide the goods. Don’t leave packages, phones, music players, or other valuables on the seats, floor, dash, or anywhere in sight. Lock items in your trunk.
- Keep moving. If you come out of the store to drop off a load of packages, move the car to another space before going back for more shopping, or better yet take them home. Criminals may be watching and know you won’t be back for a while.
- Stay focused. Pay attention to your surroundings while walking to and from your car. Walk with a purpose, and stay off the phone. Have your keys ready as you approach the car, and get yourself and your packages inside quickly. Then lock the doors.
- Take Your Keys. This may also seem a bit obvious but nearly half of all stolen vehicles have the keys in them and it is against the law to leave the keys in an unattended vehicle.