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OPP: Don't let thieves steal your Christmas cheer

An absent-minded shopper is a perfect target for a thief looking for a quick and vulnerable person to victimize
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COUNTY OF WELLINGTON - Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is asking all citizens to be extra vigilant this holiday season as one of the busiest shopping occasions of the year is upon us. 

Everyone knows that the stores will be busy the next several weeks with people buying gifts and the like. An absent-minded shopper is a perfect target for a thief looking for a quick and vulnerable person to victimize.

Take the target off your back by following these crime proofing techniques;

  • Reduce the amount of cash you carry and/or display. If a thief doesn't see much potential they may move on and if you are victimized your losses will be reduced.
  • Never leave purses, wallets or purchases unattended. In a busy store a thief can easily swoop in and out without being detected.
  • If you need to keep valuables in your vehicle, keep them out of sight. Use the trunk if possible or at least conceal them. Double-check that your vehicle is locked; unlocked vehicles are easy pickings for thieves.
  • Park in well-lit portions of parking areas with high-volume foot traffic. Concealment is a tool that criminals rely heavily on; it increases their ability to victimize.
  • Shop with a friend whenever possible for company and protection. The potential for victimization is reduced when we look out for each other.
  • If leaving your home unattended lock and secure doors/windows as always. Get the "lived-in" look by leaving a few lights on. If you're away for an extended period have a friend or neighbour clear your driveway and maybe even park in it.
  • Watch what you throw out in the trash. Putting the empty box for your new TV or laptop in the trash could cause a thief to look at you as a potential target. Be discrete about what new valuables you have in your home, don't be a curb side advertisement to a thief.
  • Report ANY suspicious activity/persons to police or security officials immediately!

Don't let a festive thief turn your festive season into a horrible memory. Crime prevention works best when we all work at it together!