Tips to stay safe during last minute holiday shopping - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Tips to stay safe during last minute holiday shopping


With just over a week left until Christmas shoppers are busy trying to check items off their gift lists.  Shopper Nathan Petersheim said, "I still have some gifts to get."  And fellow shopper Kim Black said, "we have to see what we've got and go from there.  I think we're pretty close to being done."

Stores want to make sure you have the time you need to get those last minute gifts, they'll be staying open later this week.  Mishawaka Target Store Team Leader, Bryan Schiff said, "Starting on Monday we will go to being open til midnight that will allow folks with the last week of shopping to get all the they need."  And they're preparing for a lot of last minute shoppers.  "We're staffed up heavy to handle the guest traffic," said Schiff.

Police say you also need to be prepared.  This time of year there are increased theft crimes in and around shopping centers.  Lt. Tim Williams with the Mishawaka Police Department said ideally you should drive gifts home between stores so they aren't left in your car.  If you can't do that Williams said, "put your gifts in the trunk of the car.  If you have an SUV cover them up with a blanket."  But it's not just the gifts you need to hide.  Williams says any visible electronics also make you a target for theft.  So things like GPS, laptops, electronic games, even your cell phone cords all need to be left at home.

And Williams has even more tips to keep you safe, "I would advise not carrying a purse to keep your credit cards and your money on your person," said Williams.  He adds that you should park in a well lit area and bring a friend with you, don't shop alone.

If you are the victim of a crime first call police, next alert store security, and if your credit cards have been stolen call your credit card company immediately.  Williams said most theives use credit cards within minutes of stealing them.



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