Shopping tips to stay safe this holiday season - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Shopping tips to stay safe this holiday season

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The only thing Auburn authorities want for Christmas is a safe city for residents to enjoy.

With a little over a week left to shop, the Auburn Police Division has tips for shoppers to ensure their safety during this hectic time of year.

"Always be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. If you are in a business, in the mall or store, keep an eye on your valuables, especially your purse. We recommend you not carry a lot of cash this time of year, rely mostly on your debit and credit cards, but keep an eye on those too," explains Captain Tom Stofer of the Auburn Police Division.

Credit card fraud is a reoccurring crime in the area, so make sure to collect all of your receipts, protect your pin number and cancel immediately if it does go missing.

"When someone gets their hands on a credit card, they will use that credit card within minutes, or certainly an hour or two," says Stofer.

One other important tip to remember is to leave valuables and shopping bags in the trunk of your car to avoid a potential break-in.

"Very seldom is someone going to break the window out of your vehicle to rummage through it," explains Stofer. "Normally, they look inside your vehicle, they see what they want and that's when they damage your vehicle."

News Leader 9 put shoppers to the test at the Village Mall in Auburn, asking how they protect themselves during holiday crime.

"During the holiday I try to keep all my valuables at home or either on me. I try to keep them away from the cars just in case of break-ins," says shopper Torrin Matthews.

"I am always aware of my surroundings. I watch people and I use different techniques to make sure I'm aware of my situation at all time," explains shopper Tabatha Glassburn.

"Auburn authorities just want shoppers to have fun out there, enjoy the holiday season, but by doing it safely," says Stofer.

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