Holiday Shopping Safety
GAIENSVILLE - The holiday season is here and what does that mean? The race for shopping is on. But this time of year is also the time people can become careless and vulnerable to holiday crime, unless you you take a few preventative measures.
With the age of technology many have dropped the shopping carts for computers. Fourteen-year-old Ryan Morse said, "I mean online shopping is good because you don't really have to go anywhere to do it. You can pretty much find what you want... So I don't know, I probably use online shopping more... Cause I am lazy."
However the vast majority of people still hit the stores to shop. Like Cheran Burns and Kathy Stele. "I've looked online just to get ideas but i like more the traditional shopping. I like having it in my hand," Burns said.
But all the new goodies also attract criminals. Gainesville Police Department spokesperson Ben Tobias says there are ways to prevent becoming the victim of crime. "If you do happen to get some electronic items, like a new TV or something like that, wait till trash day to put that box out... Don't put the empty box out and leave it on the street corner because all you're doing is literally putting out an advertisement for criminals," Tobias said.
Mary Schmidt says she hasn't given shopping safety much thought. When I asked, "Are you trying to be on the look out? Do you do anything for safety or precaution?" She said, "I haven't really thought about that actually."
Other residents such as Michael Kenney are making it a goal to stay safe. "When we go to the mall i put my wallet in the front pocket and stuff... And if we do any shopping we go straight home, we don't go from place to place because that way you get your stuff stolen, especially having a jeep that is open in the back," Kenney said.
"So be very careful... Hey I am going home for two weeks for the holidays because there's that chance that somebody may be following your social media and go, oh well there's an apartment that is going to be free for two weeks, I've got plenty of time to break into it. So just be very careful of what you put out to the public," Tobias said.
Another tip this season... Try to shop during the daytime as much as possible. But if you need to shop at night bring a friend along.
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