BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) - The holiday season is a time when busy people can become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. The following tips can help you be more careful, prepared and aware during the holiday season.
■Stay alert and be aware of what's going on around you.
■ Park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
■ Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
■ Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Don't overburden yourself with packages. Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
■ Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.
■ Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
■ Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas.
■ Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
■ If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, ask a security guard for an escort.
Shopping during the holiday season can present unique danger. Taking a few prevention measures can help keep your holiday season joyous.