From Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson:
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office wishes you a safe, happy Christmas and holiday season. So once you’ve awakened from your turkey induced coma it will be time to get ready for Christmas. With that being said, we need to keep safety at the top of your holiday shopping list. We can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware while shopping. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbors.
When it comes to Christmas and holiday safety, keeping your home safe and secure is an important task. Many will be out shopping, traveling to see family or off to a holiday island getaway to truly unplug from the stress of the season.
If traveling please avoid posting your vacation and time-away-from-home plans on social media. When posting you are out of town on social media it makes it all-too-easy-forum for criminals to track your every move. So keep your plans private. If you are considering traveling this holiday season consider putting in a Vacation Watch through the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. More information can be found here http://mctxsheriff.org/divisions/executive_division/going_on_vacation.php
Speaking of social media and the internet, many will take to online shopping for all their holiday shopping needs. If you do so, be mindful of the delivery of packages. Don’t let boxes pile up at your door. The holiday season is the gift that keeps on giving for thieves who case neighborhoods, looking for unattended packages. If you can’t arrange for package deliveries when someone will be home to receive them, ask a neighbor to pick up the package. That way it will be kept safe and out of the hands of criminals.
Also, when it comes to online shopping, use only trusted sites that will encrypt important personal information. While online shopping is convenient it sadly can provide a window into your life, making you an easy target for identity theft.
Other safety tips:
• Avoid driving at night or shopping alone. Take a friend or family members with you.
• Keep car doors locked and set your car alarm.
• Look for other cars or people, and back out slowly.
• Save your receipts and monitor your credit card activity.
• Don’t argue or fight over an item.
• If shopping with children, select a central location to meet in case you are separated. Teach kids how to ask a security guard or employee for help if they’re lost.
• Make sure you have sufficient water and snacks with you! Running around stores can make you dehydrated, and if you hop on an early morning line, you don’t want to miss out on breakfast.
• If shopping at night, park in well-lit areas and make sure you know where you parked.
• DO NOT leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car or in view of the public. Lock in the trunk or out of sight if you cannot take them back to the house.
• Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
• Keep a secure hold of your purse, handbag or shopping bags. Do not set them down unless someone you are with is watching them.
• When approaching your vehicle, do not be on your phone. Pay attention to your surroundings.
• Do not carry large amounts of currency. Use credit cards preferably one if possible.
• Do not buy more than you can carry.
• Ask store security to escort you to your vehicle if you feel uneasy.
• On your way home pay attention to suspicious vehicles. If followed, drive to a busy location and contact law enforcement immediately.
• Report ANY suspicious activity immediately.