Alabaster police share tips for safe holiday shopping
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
The Alabaster Police Department is encouraging residents to be aware while shopping and going out of town during the upcoming Christmas season, and has released a list of tips to keep residents safe.
In a bulletin released by the department on Nov. 14., Police Chief Curtis Rigney, encouraged shoppers to always be aware of their surroundings, always park in well-lit areas and to never leave valuable items visible in parked vehicles.
The list also encouraged shoppers to limit the amount of valuables and cash they carry while shopping, secure purses and wallets and always keep their car doors locked.
“Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason,” read the list. “At this time of year, con artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.”
Rigney also encouraged parents to always supervise their children, to never dress children in clothing displaying their names and to teach their children what to do if they are separated from their loved ones.
When traveling out of town, Rigney said homeowners should create up-to-date lists and photo galleries of items in their houses and keep the list out of the house, and should set light timers to turn televisions and lights off to simulate someone being in the house.
Homeowners also should make arrangements to stop mail and newspaper deliveries while they are away, and should ask a trusted neighbor to watch their homes while they are away, the list read.
“We at the Alabaster Police Department want to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday season,” read the bulletin. “As you find time to shop, please be mindful of the following safety tips. While these steps don’t guarantee you will not become the victim of crime, they will hopefully reduce your chances of falling prey to a criminal.”