Each year during the Christmas shopping season, crime increases. The holiday hustle and bustle is an exciting time of year, with so much happening in downtown Spokane it can be easy to fail to be aware of your surroundings. Follow the easy tips below and don’t allow yourself to be a victim.

BEFORE LEAVING HOME

  • Plan your shopping trip carefully. Know where you are going and what routes you will take to get there.
  • Leave your home secure, engage alarms, and give the appearance that your home is occupied by leaving the lights on in the most frequently used rooms.
  • Don’t leave valuable items out in the open. Secure them in closets, safes, etc.

WHEN PARKING

  • Always park in well-lit areas. Note the location of your vehicle in the parking lot to conveniently return after shopping.
  • Always lock all your doors.
  • Remove all items and hide them in the trunk, glove compartment, out of sight.
  • Avoid parking near vans or other vehicles with covered cargo areas.
  • Don’t get out of your vehicle until you are ready. If you don’t feel safe, stay in the car or drive away.

WHILE SHOPPING

  • Keep your money and credit cards in your front pocket and try to limit the number of credit cards and cash you’re carrying while shopping.
  • To avoid being a victim of “Identity Theft”, be aware of exposing credit cards, debit cards, and other identification at the cash register and ATM’s. Thieves will utilize cell phones to capture card information without your knowledge.
  • Be aware of any other type of “Distraction” type of crimes that typically occur during this time of the year.

WHEN RETURNING TO YOUR CAR

  • Never leave the store with your arms full of packages.
  • Have your car key in hand, ready to unlock your door.
  • Check the parking lot for suspicious people and look around before you exit the store.
  • Do not return to your vehicle if you see people loitering nearby.
  • Check underneath, in front and in back of your car as you approach it.
  • Check the front and rear passenger seats inside your car before you enter it.
  • If you are planning on returning to the store, never leave your packages in plain view inside your vehicle. Lock them in the trunk or place them on the floor and cover them with a blanket or jacket.

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