How To Practice Safe Shopping This Holiday Season

By on November 25th, 2013

While about 89 million shoppers hunt for deals this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, criminals are also looking to score big.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Art Forgey shared ways to prevent from anyone stealing some holiday joy.

Don’t leave purchased items in sight after shopping.

“We tend to see an increase of car burglary at this time of the year,” Forgey said, “and that’s simply because people leave things of value in plain sight in their vehicles.”

After accruing new items, discretely minimizing and discarding boxes may keep thieves’ eyes off a resident’s curb while driving by.

“We see large boxes from everything from purchase of TVs to children toys, and a lot of people will stick those out in the trash — maybe even set them alongside the curb for a day or two before the trash comes,” he said. “All you’re doing with that is advertising what you got in your home to a would be burglar that would be driving by.”

For online shopping, use a credit card rather than a debit card.

“Should your account be compromised, you can dispute those charges and only be responsible for up to $50 on that credit card,” he said.

With debit cards, payments are made directly to the store from an account at the time of transaction. Depending on when fraudulent use is reported, a shopper could be liable for up to $500.

Check online security before making purchases.

“Make sure that network is secured and anytime you’re shopping, look for that little padlock to make sure it is a secure site,” Forgey said.

Keep wallets in the front pant pockets, not the back ones. To discourage pickpockets, don’t carry an overload of shopping bags.

Parents should have a plan in advance with their children in case they become separated in a large, crowded mall. In case of an emergency, teach kids to go to a store clerk or security guard to ask for help.

This entry was posted in Crime. Bookmark the permalink.

More Stories in Crime


DCF Reaches Settlement With Survivors Of Bell Killings

The Florida Department of Children and Families as well as two private companies have agreed to pay $750,000 to settle legal claims resulting from a mass killing in Bell last September.

Marion County Sheriff officers arrested Laquan Barrow, 24, and charged him with second-degree murder in the fatal nightclub shooting of 19-year-old Benetria Robinson on Sept. 13

Suspect Arrested For Deadly Ocala Nightclub Shooting

Marion County Sheriff’s officers arrested and charged Laquan Barrow, 24, with second degree murder in connection with the slaying of 19-year-old Benetria Robinson at an Ocala nightclub. He is also charged with attempted second degree in the injuring of five other people during the Sept. 13 shooting.

Officer Wayne Clark of the University of Florida Police Department attends to his duties. Crime rates are highest at UF during the fall season when more freshman arrive.

Fall Semester Brings In Higher Crime Rates

The University of Florida Police Department experiences its highest crime rates during the fall academic semester. Freshmen are more susceptible to sexual attacks, robberies and motor vehicle thefts.

Kevin Kasper is being held on a $75,000 bond after three charges were filed in relation to the child sex sting.

Santa Fe College Professor One of 22 Arrested In Undercover Project

Santa Fe College professor Kevin Kasper was arrested as part of a Gainesville Police Department undercover operation identifying sexual predators. Santa Fe College Police Chief Ed Book stated that human resources within the college will determine what action to take based off of information collected from the investigation.


Ocala Man Blinds Helicopter Pilot With Hair Comb

A Marion County Sheriff’s Office helicopter pilot was temporary blinded when an Ocala man pointed his hair comb toward the sky Wednesday morning.

Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments