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Lincoln Daily News
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Practical safety tips for holiday shopping          Send a link to a friend

To the editor:

The Christmas season is in full gear, and we at the Logan County Senior Issues Task Force want to make sure our senior citizens and everyone else have a safe and wonderful holiday. Senior citizens are often the target of criminals of all types. Here are some safety tips to remember as you go shopping this year:

1. If at all possible, don't carry a purse. Keep cash and credit cards in an inside pocket or fanny pack worn to the front. Thieves don't like having to work too hard and risk detection. If you do carry a purse, keep it in front of your body. Don't open it until you are in the checkout line ready with your purchase. NEVER leave your bag in your cart unattended.

2. Shop in groups. Thieves prefer those who shop alone. There is safety in numbers, so shop with friends or family if at all possible.

3. Stay in the light. Always park your car in well-lit areas near the stores where you are shopping. Don't park next to vehicles taller than yours. Criminals use them as cover in order to commit their crimes.

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4. Have your keys in your hand before you leave the store for your car. If you're fumbling for keys, you are distracted and therefore a target!

5. Lock all of your purchases or any other valuables in your trunk.

6. If you are in a minor car accident, stay in your car with the doors locked until authorities arrive. Some criminals are known to use "bump and rob" schemes to steal your valuables.

There are many other tips for holiday safety available to all of us. The best of all is to be alert! Think like a criminal, and then take appropriate steps NOT to be the victim.

On behalf of the Logan County Senior Task Force, have a safe and happy holiday season!

Julie King, chairperson
Senior Issues Task Force

(Posted Dec. 15, 2006)

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