Protecting Yourself from Shopping Predators

December 9, 2005 -- Posted at 4:33 p.m. CST


JONESBORO, AR -- During the holiday season there is always an increased number of thefts in parking lots.


What can shoppers do to protect themselves from being a target of these package predators?  “During the holiday season the retailers bring in a lot more business and there are a lot more people out shopping,” said Steve McDaniel with the Jonesboro Police Department.  


The holidays also bring out the thieves.  So, what do thieves look for in their victims?

“A thief would generally be looking for someone who is not paying attention for someone who leaves their things out in the open someone who might leave their things unattended,” said McDaniel.  


Sergeant Steve McDaniel with the Jonesboro Police Department says there are things shoppers can do to protect themselves, “If you get any packages and say you're shopping from store to store is that you when you arrive at the next store you put those out of sight.”  


Shoppers are encouraged to keep their purchases out of the plain sight of thieves; you can do that by simply placing your items in the trunk of your car.


Besides putting our gifts out of sight what else can we do?


“We also recommend that you lock your vehicle up but that's not enough if someone sees something that they want they can break a window or pop a lock to try to get in,” said McDaniel.  


Target store manager Richard McLeod says they do their best to protect their customers from thieves, “One of the things I always suggest to guests is that they keep their shopping carts with them at all times when they have their handbags or personal items in there.”  


McLeod says unbuckling and attaching your purse to the shopping cart may help deter thieves.  When leaving the store the fewer shopping bags your take out to your car at a time can also make you less of a target.