MCSO: Tips to stay safe while holiday shopping


Holiday shopping is filled with excitement, but can also include stress and distractions, which increases safety risks. The town of Queen Creek and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Queen Creek District encourages residents to stay alert during holiday shopping. The following safety tips can help reduce one’s chances of becoming a victim this holiday season, according to a press release:


•Be alert. Look confident and walk with purpose.
•If shopping after dark, take a friend.
•Park in well-lit and well-traveled areas.
•Keep keys in your hand when walking to your car or home.
•When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
•Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people or vehicles in the area.
•Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.
•If someone demands your purse or wallet, surrender it immediately—it’s not worth your life. If anything is stolen, report it to the police.

Vehicle Safety
•Keep your vehicle locked, including doors and the trunk.
•Keep packages locked in your car trunk while shopping. However, do not leave packages in your vehicle overnight (take everything inside your home).
•Leave nothing visible in the car including a GPS system or mount.
•Move your car each time you pack in more items – someone could be watching.

•Bring only the cash and credit cards you need. Keep cash separate from ID and credit cards.
•Be alert. Your purse or wallet may be a target in crowded shopping areas. Be wary of those creating distractions.
•Limit the use of cell phones and other devices when in public areas. Your awareness level is compromised.
•Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home so you can immediately report any loss to the police and issuing company.
•Use ATMs located in well-lit areas and only withdraw the amount of cash you need.
•Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad and do not throw your ATM receipt away.
Online shopping and identity theft
•Only do business with companies you know and only shop at secure websites.
•Do not respond to e-mails asking you for personal or credit card information.
•Check your credit card and bank statements regularly for fraudulent use.
•Report any fraudulent charges to your bank, the credit bureaus and the police.
•Shred important documents, including receipts that show your credit card number.

“The safety of Queen Creek residents and visitors is our highest priority,” MCSO Queen Creek Capt. Randy Brice said in the release. “It is vital that individuals slow down, stay alert and avoid distractions while shopping, especially during the holiday season.”

To report suspicious behavior, call MCSO’s non-emergency number at 602-876-1011. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.
MCSO District 6 Queen Creek is at 22308 S. Ellsworth Road.

For additional information about MCSO or the town, visit the town’s website.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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