Don't be a target this holiday season

POSTED: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 11:47am

UPDATED: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 3:20pm

It's the busiest time of the year for shoppers looking to get gifts for the holidays. Police warn it's also a busy time for them, as they deal with thieves preying on homes, stores and parking lots.

Jeff McKissak owns "Defense by Design," and teaches people how to protect themselves.

"One of the primary tactics thieves use is asking for or offering assistance. Be very leery of people asking to bring something to or from their car," McKissak said. "Where is there car parked? Where are they trying to lure you?"

McKissak said when you're done shopping get into your car first, lock the door, then arrange your belongings safely inside.

Shoppers agree being alert and mindful of your surroundings is the key to avoiding becoming a victim.

"I'm very cautious of my purse, like I make sure I'm aware that it's by my side at all times. That it's zipped up," said Jennifer Tran.

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