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Ask HPD: Holiday Safety Tips

Question: What are some safety tips for holiday shoppers?

Answer: The holidays are a busy time of the year and many would say that shopping is a big part of the holiday tradition. But if you're not prepared, you may become a target for criminals.

We'd like to remind you to follow some simple tips:

• Always be vigilant
• Be aware of your surroundings at all times
• Shop during the daylight hours if you can
• If you have to shop at night, go with a friend or family member
• If you're driving, park close to where you're going and park in a well-lit area
• Lock your vehicle when you're out shopping. Keep your windows rolled up
• Do not leave keys in the ignition and do not leave valuables in view.
After your shopping trip, we also want you to be cautious on the way back to your vehicle.

• Hold your items firmly and do not leave them unattended
• Don't overload yourself with too many packages
• Don't wait until you reach your vehicle to look for your keys. Have them ready in your hand
The best plan to have is to plan ahead.

• Make sure you know what you're purchasing in advance
• Carry only the amount of cash or credit cards you need
Question: Any home safety tips for the holidays?

Answer: Criminals are always looking for easy targets. To keep your holiday a safe and joyous one, remember these tips:

• Always lock your windows and doors
• Don't run electrical cords through windows and doors
• Don't display gifts and other valuables where they can be seen from the window or doorway
• When expecting a delivery, make sure someone will pick it up for you
• Don't leave your boxes on the curb for thieves to see
• Keep your bushes, hedges, or trees trimmed
Question: What can shoppers do to make sure they’re not purchasing stolen items?

Answer: Consumers should to only buy items from reputable sellers. When it comes to “new in box” items, sellers should have documentation of the original purchase. If purchasing high-ticket items online – like through Craigslist – ask the seller for their identification. If the seller is hesitant to provide that information, the item may be stolen. If the police determine that the property is stolen, the item will be confiscated and the buyer could be subject to arrest for theft or detaining stolen property. If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.

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Ask HPD will also air on the KHON2 News morning show, Wake Up 2Day.