There’s a week until Christmas. From here on out, it’s going to be a mad dash to the end. This weekend may get as big as Black Friday, and the momentum will carry us through until Christmas.
This is a time to be very careful if you’re in a mall or other shopping center, if you’re driving from store-to-store doing your Christmas shopping or even if you’re just shopping for other items. Because there’s so much hustle and bustle and because so many people will be making massive shopping runs, it’s an ideal time for thieves to steal presents from cars or even inattentive shoppers.
It’s nearly impossible to remove all risk of theft–unless you don’t buy anything. But here are a couple tips for keeping your holiday purchases safer.
1. Don’t Leave Your Car Unlocked
You knew that one already. But if you’re in a hurry, you may find yourself forgetting to listen for that familiar click as you walk into a store. Always lock your car, and make sure that you’ve locked it.
However, locked cars won’t prevent theft, so:
2. Don’t Leave Visible Bags in the Car
That’s a good tip any time you’re shopping, but it’s especially important during the holiday season. Smash and grab is a lot easier than opening the trunk and hoping there’s something in it. You make window-shopping a lot easier by leaving visible bags and packages in the car. (Covering them with a blanket isn’t a great idea, though it may make them slightly less attractive.)
3. Don’t Let Bags Out of Your Sight
Stopping in the food court for a bite? It’s a better idea to do this when you have only one or two bags (or haven’t started shopping yet), then when you’ve hit up 5 stores and having a whole load of bags. Be sure you can keep an eye on your items.
4. Park in Well-Lit Areas
If everything is hidden in the trunk, then the thief is going to have to go to a lot more trouble to get it. And if your car is in a well-lit area, then thieves may move on to more dependable or safer targets, like cars with exposed gifts or cars in obscure areas.
Retailers and police will be doing their part in many areas to ensure that parking lots are better-secured than during the rest of the year. But don’t rely entirely on them. Take your own steps to protect the gifts you buy and keep holiday thieves from making your Christmas less fun!