Q:  What types of crimes are we more vulnerable to during the holiday season, and how can we protect ourselves?

A:  As always, criminals are looking for crimes of opportunity that often go along with busy people out shopping — they might look for someone carrying a lot of money or things. When you go out Christmas shopping, take just what you need. Put it in your pockets. Leave the purse at home. At least, don’t leave your purse unattended. Some of us like to set it in the shopping cart, say, at the grocery store. But a criminal can reach in there and grab your wallet and you might not even know it’s gone until you get to the checkout. Try not to overload yourself with bags. Take trips to the car and secure the packages in your trunk. Also — and I know people want to show off their pretty trees — but when you put a Christmas tree in your front window, it’s sort of like advertising to thieves what you have. By the same token, after Christmas, don’t put the box from your new plasma TV or game system out in the bulk trash for all to see — that, too, just lets criminals know what they can find inside your house.


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