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Monday, December 18, 2006

Shopper's are making their list and checking it twice, but are they neglecting to check their safety?

This time of year has a tendency to attract more shopping-related criminal activity because of larger crowds and extended store hours. These factors, combined with the usual distractions related to shopping, create a more favorable environment for thieves and other offenders.
Unfortunately, when shopping, people sometimes have a tendency to become distracted and lose sight of their personnel safety.

However, Sheriff Neustrom states “There are several precautions busy shoppers can take to help eliminate their chances of becoming a victim."

• Always try to shop with another person; a single shopper is an easier target.
• When going shopping, make sure you tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return home.
• Plan ahead, if you know you are going to return to your car after dark, park in a well-lit area if possible.
• If you are in a store and sense that you are being followed or watched, locate a store employee or security personnel.
• If you feel uneasy returning to your car alone, find security and ask them to walk you to your car.
• When returning or exiting your vehicle be alert and aware of you surroundings.
• Do not leave packages or valuables in plain sight; store them in the trunk of your vehicle.
• Make a list of all credit card numbers and the numbers to report in case they are lost or stolen.

Sheriff Neustrom concludes, “Have a safe and joyous holiday season from your Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office."

Lt. Craig Stansbury
Public Information Officer