F’ville police offer some safety tips for holiday season

As local stores and shoppers gear up for the annual Christmas buying season, Fayetteville police are reminding shoppers to take extra precautions for the Grinchy criminals who prey on distracted victims.

Police recommend keeping a close eye on your purse, wallet and checkbook while you shop, and particularly to stay aware of your surroundings. Some thieves work in pairs with one distracting victims while the other steals items from the shopping cart, for example, police said.

Authorities also recommend shopping during daylight whenever possible, and if you must shop at night, do so with a friend or family member. When it comes to protecting valuables and packages, keep them in your car hidden from sight and make sure to lock the door and close the windows, even if you will only be away for a few minutes, police said.

It’s also recommended to keep a hawk-eye on your credit and debit cards along with your driver’s license as they can easily be used to steal your identity. If the card becomes lost or stolen, contact the card issuer immediately.

Police also urge residents to always wear their seatbelt and also to be alert to any activity near their car. Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately to 911 so police have a chance of sorting things out.

Or as police noted in a news advisory on the matter: “Do not be afraid to call 911; That is what we are here for!”