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Holiday Shopping Safety Tips to Remember

County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence W. Mulvey have stated that the Police Department is taking affirmative steps to ensure the safety of the people of Nassau County during the holiday season. All regular marked and plainclothes patrols will be intensifying their coverage of shopping malls and commercial areas. The patrols will be augmented by patrol from the Mounted Unit and Bureau of Special Operations. Concurrently, dedicated patrols have been assigned to the major malls within the county, putting additional police officers at those locations during peak hours.

In addition to shopping safety, police will also be on the outlook for drivers and occupants who are not complying with the Seat Belt Law. This includes children who are not in child safety seats or buckled in their seat. Police officers will also be vigilant watching for drivers who are drinking and driving on all roads in Nassau. Handicapped parking violations will be strictly enforced. Parking in handicapped spaces is reserved for those with visible permits.

Police Commissioner Lawrence W. Mulvey suggests some holiday shopping tips:


Before Leaving Home:

• Plan your shopping trip carefully. Know where you are going and what routes you will take to get there.

• If possible, arrange for a friend to go shopping with you. There is safety in numbers.

• Let someone know where you are going and what route you will be taking. Additionally, let them know when you expect to return.

• Leave your home secure, engage alarms and give the appearance that your home is occupied by leaving the lights on in the most frequently used rooms.

• Don’t leave valuable items out in the open. Secure them in closets, safes, etc.


When Parking:

• Always park in well-lit areas.

• Note the location of your vehicle in the parking lot to conveniently return after shopping.

• Always lock all your doors.

• Remove all items, such as radar detectors, laptops or packages and hide them in the trunk, glove compartment, out of sight.

• Avoid parking near vans or other vehicles with covered cargo areas.

• Avoid carrying large handbags. Carry only what is necessary.

• Look around the parking lot for suspicious persons before you exit your vehicle.

• Don’t get out of your vehicle until you are ready. If you don’t feel safe, stay in the car or drive away.


While Shopping:

• Keep your money and credit cards in your front pocket and try to limit the number of credit cards and cash you’re carrying while shopping.

• To avoid being a victim of “Identity Theft”, be aware of exposing credit cards, debit cards and other identification at the cash register and ATMs. Thieves will utilize cell phones to capture card information without your knowledge.

• Be cognizant of any other type of “Distraction” type of crimes that typically occur during this time of the year.


When Returning to Your Car:

• Never leave the store with your arms full of packages. Use a courtesy cart.

• Have your car key in hand, ready to unlock your door.

• Check the parking lot for suspicious people and look around before you exit the store.

• Do not return to your vehicle if you see people loitering nearby.

• Carry a whistle or other audible device. If you feel threatened, use it. If you’re inside your vehicle, lock your doors and honk your horn to attract attention.

• Check underneath, in front and in back of your car as you approach it.

• Check the front and rear passenger seats inside your car before you enter it.

• If you are planning on returning to the store, never leave your packages in plain view inside your vehicle. Lock them in the trunk or place them on the floor and cover them with a blanket or jacket.