HPD tips for shopping safety

During the year-end holidays, people are often busy, excited, and sometimes a little bit careless.

Here are some tips to make your holiday shopping safer.


  • Shop before dark if possible. Coordinate shopping trips with a friend. Never park in an unlit lot or area, no matter how convenient it is.
  • Lock your packages and gifts in your vehicle’s trunk. Keep you vehicle’s doors locked and windows closed.
  • Don’t leave your keys in the car EVER. Always take them with you.
  • Don’t hide car keys on your car; thieves know where most people hide keys.
  • Close the roof on a convertible.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check, credit card, or debit card when possible.
  • To discourage purse snatchers, don’t overburden yourself with packages. Have your purchases delivered whenever practical.
  • Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse under your arm. Keep a wallet in an inside jacket pocket, not a back trouser pocket.
  • Keep careful track of your bags and other packages. If you leave something behind, it could get stolen or discarded.
  • Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies when taking mass transit: report any unattended packages to security or staff.
  • Check receipts to see whether your full credit card number appears. If a receipt has your full number on it, take a pen and thoroughly scratch it out.
  • Double check that you have your credit cards and check book after you pay for your items.
  • Make a plan with your children in case you get separated. Have a central meeting place and review with your children who they can turn to for help if they find themselves alone.
  • Go over the dangers of strangers with children so that they know who not to talk to or follow.
  • Teach children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if you become separated. They should never go into a parking lot alone.