Abilene police give tips on Christmas shopping safety


ABILENE, Texas - It's the time of year again when shoppers head to stores to buy Christmas presents.

Abilene Police say there are some things people should be on the lookout for.

There have been a total of 68 vehicle burglaries from Nov. 1 to Dec. 1 of this year in Abilene.

Some call it "the most wonderful time of the year." That's the time when billions of dollars are spent in holiday sales. For others, it's a time to target unsuspecting shoppers. Police say it's important to stay safe and remain alert while shopping for loved ones.

Sgt. Lynn Beard with the Abilene Police Department said it will becomes difficult to find parking close to the store's entrance. Beard said if you go out at night, make sure you park in well lit areas.

"Well lit areas are always better," Beard said. "They enable you to see primarily what's going around you. Typically, people like car burglars and somebody that wants to steal something out of your car, they're going to hide in the shadows in the dark."

When you're done Christmas shopping, Beard said it's best to put your items in the back of your car and out of sight. He also said to have your cart next to you instead of behind you so your items are less likely to be stolen.

Lastly, if you feel like you're in danger, press the panic button on your car key to draw attention to yourself.

"This time of year, it gets dark early you know it's dark by 5:30 or six, pretty close to that," Beard said. "So, make sure if you're at a commercial shopping area where there's lots of cars and lots of traffic, remember car burglars are targeting those areas."

Beard said it's best to shop in groups. He said when you go out alone you're more likely to become a victim.

"The primary thing to do is trust your instincts, look around, be aware of your surroundings as you're walking to your car," Beard said. "If you get an uneasy feeling about something you see, turn around and go back to the store."

Beard said that anytime you notice any suspicious behavior be sure to call APD so they can look into it.