Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Reminds Holiday Shoppers To Be Careful

It’s come out with a list of tips to stay safe

Frederick, Md (KM) The old Christmas song calls this “the Most Wonderful Time  of the Year,” but you still need to stay safe as malls, shopping centers, department stores and other retail outlets will be very crowded and very busy over the next few weeks.

Spokesman Todd Wivell with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office says when out shopping, don’t go alone. “Shop with a family member or friend. There’s always safety in numbers so don’t go out by yourself. If you can’t have your husband or wife or spouse, or boyfriend, girlfriend go, have friends go with you,” he says.

The Sheriff’s Office says park in well lit areas, and pay attention to the pedestrians around you.

Wivell also says be careful when handling cash. “If you’re going out to  withdraw cash, and there’s a big line at the ATM, make sure you hide your PIN,” he says.  And don’t take the cash out of your wallet until you’re ready to make a purchase.

For women who carry purses, Wivell says carry a small purse when out shopping. “Instead of taking that heavy purse out with all the makeup and everything else that women carry in there, lighten it up and get a smaller purse, something that you can wear around you, and keep on you and keep in the front of you,”: he says.

For men, Wivell recommends they carny their wallets in the front pockets instead of in the back.

If children are coming along for the shopping trip, the Sheriff’s Office recommends everyone have a central location to meet in case you get separated. And if your children become lost, Wivell says call 911 immediately. “If you find your child or your child finds you, that’s  great. You can easily call them off,:” he says. “But you don’t want to delay that time from when that child is missing and giving us a call. So definitely call 911.”

When you make your purchases, Wivell says store those items in the car, particularly in the trunk. “As you’re  buying more and more stuff, your car’s going to get loaded. So definitely try to cover up those big, expensive items,” he says “If you’re shopping somewhere close, run home and just drop stuff off and go out again. And I know everyone wants to get that good deal But you don’t want to get your car broken into and all of your stuff taken either.”

This is also a busy time for delivery drivers If you’re expecting a package, the Sheriff’s Office says ask your  neighbors to grab the package, and save it until you get home. You can also give specific instructions to the delivery drivers to place packages  in a specific area, a predetermined location out of sight from the road

By Kevin McManus