According to Sacramento Police, it is not a good idea to leave valuable holiday presents in plain view inside your car.
Officer Doug Morse told FOX40 many criminals are cruising parking lots this time of year looking inside vehicles.
"Just don't leave it in plain sight whatever it is," Morse said.
Police and mall security recommend bringing a blanket to cover your shopping bags and even less valuable items you might believe aren't worth stealing.
"You might think you leave a gym bag inside and there's nothing in it, but once they go inside and see there's nothing in it, they'll continue to go through your car until they find something," said Steve Reed, Security Manager at Arden Fair Mall.
And Morse said it's even important to be aware of who's watching when you are loading your car.
"Secure those valuables before you get to where you're going to park, because if someone sees you putting something into your trunk, when you're here, that could make your car a potential target," Morse told FOX40.
If you are shopping alone, and worried about your own safety, most stores and malls have employees willing to walk you back to your car.
"Go to our guest services booth and ask for an escort and our guys will go escort them," said Reed.