STOCKTON -- The stores are packed, and the parking lots are full.
While shoppers are busy spending their hard-earned cash, so are the crooks looking to take what they can get.
Park in well-lit areas and make sure to have your keys in hand before you leave the store are just a couple of tips police are sharing to keep you safe this holiday shopping season.
“I came to Trinity Parkway just to see what they had,” said shopper Matthew Harbut.
Harbut is just one of many Black Friday shoppers looking for the best deal. But even while shopping he keeps safety in mind, especially during the shopping season.
“There are a lot of people here you know, in Stockton that will try to... They see something interesting, they will try to break into people's cars and try to, you know, take stuff,” said Harbut.
FOX40 asked some shoppers what they do to protect themselves and their belongings.
“Well as you can see, I don’t have a purse. I put my phone and my credit cards in my front pocket and I don’t carry a lot of bags with me and when I take things to the car. I usually leave right away,” said shopper, Robin Ramirez.
Customer Deonte Smith said, “I try to keep any valuables out of sight from potentially any people who could break in.” “Bring the cards, that’s it. There’s no need for cash or big items like purses or big wallets.”
“Someone can easily come up behind you and steal it and run, just like that,” said consumer Mirreyah Luna.
Local police are sharing holiday shopping safety tips with everyone. Some of those tips include: avoid shopping alone, relocating your vehicle after dropping off a load of purchases if you still have more shopping to do and asking store security to walk you out if you ever feel uncomfortable.
Police are hoping these tips will help keep shoppers safe this holiday season:
- Park in well-lit areas
- Avoid shopping alone.
- Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason.
- Never leave your personal items unattended.
- Carry minimal cash. Use debit or credit for purchases.
- Have your keys ready before you get to your vehicle.
- Ask store security to walk you to your car if you are uncomfortable.
- Do not leave new purchases or valuables in plain view in your vehicle.
- Relocate your vehicle after dropping off a load of purchases if you have more shopping to do.
- Shopping Online? Track your packages or ship to your work. Ask someone trusted to retrieve packages that you won't be home to receive.