The sheriff’s office says criminals are expected to case major shopping centers — as well as banks and gas stations. They’re hoping to catch people who are so distracted with their shopping that they neglect their own safety.
Deputy Sandy Johnson says the most basic thing shoppers need to remember to keep from becoming victims is to lock their cars and take their keys with them.
“Make sure that when you walk into the shopping centers, that you walk with other people, and if you feel unsafe, try to find a security guard that can escort you. Make sure that whenever you are going to take your items out to your car, that that be at the same time that you’re leaving. Do not take items out and then go continue shopping, ’cause people are watching in the parking lots and can break in and get all of the items that you just bought — pretty well spoil your Christmas.”
A complete list of safety tips for holiday shoppers is available from the Auto Theft Unit of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.