Don’t fall victim to crimes this holiday season

Stay aware of your surroundings in parking lots and malls

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Holyoke Police Department is hoping their safety tips will help prevent crimes during the holiday season.

Holyoke Police Department Lt. Jim Albert said the first tip it to simply stay aware of your surroundings at all times. He said this is especially important during the holiday season when so many people are out shopping at stores and malls.

Shopping safety tips:

  • Park and walk in well-lit areas.
  • Keep your cell phone put away while walking to your car. Instead, walk to your car with your keys ready and observe your surroundings.
  • Don’t electronically unlock your car door until you are within arms reach.
  • Don’t leave shopping bags or other valuables visible in your car and always lock your car no matter how long you will be away.
  • Carry purses and shopping bags close to your body. If possible, carry your wallet in your coat or pants’ pocket.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Ask for a security escort if you don’t feel comfortable walking to your car alone.

Home safety tips:

  • Always lock doors and windows, no matter how long you will be outside your home.
  • Leave lights on inside and outside when it’s dark.
  • Arrange for someone to pick up your mail if you are going to be away from your home for several days.
  • Have your keys ready to open the door when you return with shopping bags.

Albert also encourages people to do their homework when it comes to making charity donations. He recommends asking questions about how the organization accepts donations and how it will help.