Police preaching safe shopping, watch out for thieves during holiday season

Police preaching safe shopping, watch out for thieves during holiday season
Photo Source: Live 5

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Police are warning shoppers to beware of thieves this holiday season.

On Friday many people went shopping for bargains at Northwoods Mall in North Charleston and elsewhere.

Police say while folks are looking for the best deals, the bad guys are watching.

"The crooks are counting on you being distracted," said Charleston Police Sgt. Trevor Shelor. "Just being so happy and not thinking about that there's people out there who want to take their stuff."

Some shoppers we spoke with have safety in mind.

"I make sure my car is locked, as I walk away from my car I always have my purse underneath my arm. I make sure nobody can get in it," Laura Bean said.

But Shelor says lots of shoppers don't pay attention and leave their bags and packages in plain view inside the car.

He says there's an easy fix.

"One, cover things up if you have stuff in the car," Shelor said.

Some shoppers already knew to do that.

"I make sure everything is locked and put away nothing on the seat exposed for somebody to see that they're not gonna break into my vehicle," Walter Varner said.

Shelor says you should take precautions before leaving the house. He says you should go inside your car, look around and see if there's anything valuable inside. If so, get it out of the car and then put it in the house.

Shelor also says if you have lots of packages, make several trips to the car and don't put them down inside the mall or you it could cost you.

"And then the kid needs a shoe tied or someone's got to go to the bathroom, you're sitting in the food court and putting all these bags down. It would be very easy for one of them to just get picked up and walked away with," Shelor said.

Shelor also suggests leaving your social security card, birth certificate and most of your credit cards at home before you go shopping.

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