The crime rate goes up during the holidays. Below are just a few suggestions from the Wilmington Police Department for keeping citizens, gifts, and money safe during the holiday shopping season and all year long.
- Do not put packages into your car (trunk or back seat) and then return to the mall. One of the most common criminal ploys is to wander around a parking lot as though looking for one's car. In reality, that poor lost shopper may actually be a criminal waiting to see someone place packages in their car. Put excess bags in a locker, use a cart or ask stores to hold packages until you are ready to leave.
- Keep packages hidden in the trunk when going from one location to the next and lock car doors, even if leaving for only a moment.
- Do not throw away credit card receipts.
- Do not leave your purse or your jacket with the wallet in the pocket unattended for even a moment. Do not put them in a cart, on the back of a chair while eating or on a dressing room hook, where they can be easily stolen. Keep your wallet in your pants pocket and put your purse between your feet on the floor or on your lap. Hang your belongings on a back wall hook when in a dressing room.
- Do not ever leave your purse open, where a pickpocket can easily reach in and steal your wallet.
- Do not have your arms completely filled when going to your car, especially if it is late, dark and few people are around. You should always have one hand free. Pull your car up to the entrance to load your bags if you have too much to carry.