Safety tips for last minute holiday shopping - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Safety tips for last minute holiday shopping

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Last minute shopping can be miserable, but keeping your cool can help you and others stay safe.

The National Crime Prevention Council says there are several things last minute shoppers should remember when they go out.

Do not buy more than you can carry. If you must, ask an employee to help you carry the items to your car.

If you are able to, use credit cards and checks instead of cash. Put your wallet inside of your coat, and keep your purse close to your body.

Columbus Police are cautioning consumers, saying crimes increase this time of year.

"When you come out of stores, restaurants, other places and businesses, be aware of your surroundings, who's around you, what's around you," says Sgt. Bill Gasaway with the Columbus Police Department.  

Before driving away, make sure your windows are defrosted, and you have clear visibility to see people walking past your car. Even if you are in a hurry, make sure everyone in the car is in a seatbelt. Many holiday fatalities have occurred because seatbelts were not in use.

"There's a lot more vehicles out traveling, shopping, and going out of town, visiting family, friends, and parties," explains Gasaway.

AAA projects that more than 90 million people will hit the roads to travel in the next few days. So remember, pack your patience.

"You need more patience, especially during the holidays because, there's so many people that have none," says holiday shopper Cheryl Bain.

"One thing that I wish people would think about more is how other people are going to react to their behavior," says Jenny Moore, also shopping for the holidays.

The most important thing is to expect last minute Christmas shopping and traffic to be chaotic and a little more dangerous than everyday shopping. Then, you will be in the right frame of mind, and your expectations will not be disappointed.

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