Alabaster police offer tips to keep you safe while shopping

 

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – As the city is home to one of Shelby County’s largest shopping areas, the Alabaster Police Department is encouraging local shoppers to be aware of their surroundings when making purchases this holiday season.

Continuing an annual tradition, the department recently released a list of holiday shopping tips to keep locals safe during the weeks leading up to Christmas:

 

– Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.
– Keep all purses and bags zipped and snapped closed. Pay close attention to your purses and bags. It is easy to become distracted when shopping. Purses and bags left unattended in your shopping cart, even for a just a moment, are easy targets for a thief. If possible, wear your purse or bag while you shop.
– Do not flash large amounts of cash when paying for merchandise.
– Do not leave purses, bags, cell phones or any other high dollar items in plain view in your vehicle.
– Make sure to always lock your vehicle and make sure the windows are up when unattended. The number of thefts from locked vehicles in our area is extremely low.
– Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
– If shopping with kids, have a plan in case you get separated. For the older children, have a central meeting spot designated. For the younger children teach them to go to a store clerk or police officer if you get separated. Be sure they know your name (not just mommy and daddy), cell phone number and their address. Go over the dangers of strangers with them so they know who not to talk to or follow.
– Double check that you have your credit cards and check book after you pay for your items.
– When shopping online, shop with companies you know and trust. Check a company’s background if you’re not familiar with it.
– If possible, try to be sure you or someone from your family or a trusted neighbor is home when a purchase is being delivered.