A criminal never takes time off!  Here are tips from Cushing police to help YOU avoid becoming a crime victim this holiday season.

The rush and good will that surround the holidays can increase the opportunities for criminal activity. The Cushing Police Department offers these simple crime prevention tips to assist you in having a safer holiday experience:

Holiday Crime Prevention Tips While Shopping:

· Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.

· Shop with a friend, there is safety in numbers.

· Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

· Pay for purchases with a check, credit or debit card.

· If possible, carry only your driver’s license, personal checks, or credit or debit cards.

· If you must carry a purse, do not wrap the straps around your arms or shoulders. Carry a clutch purse tightly under your arm or wear a fanny pack.

· Do not carry a wallet in a back pocket; place it in your front pocket for safety.

· Be alert that crooks look for the “high dollar” shopping bags with your purchases. When possible, slip bags/purchases in a plain nondescript bag.

· While eating in mall food courts, be aware that bags can easily be switched or taken.

· Educate your children about what to do if they are lost in addition to “Stranger Danger.”

· Have your car keys already in hand before leaving the store.

· If you do return to your vehicle to unload purchases, place them in your car’s trunk.

Holiday Crime Prevention Tips In Parking Lots:

· Shop early and leave early to avoid darkness.

· Park in a high visibility area and check for lighting in case you leave during darkness.

· Before arriving at the shopping center, lock all your valuables in your vehicle’s trunk.

· Do not be afraid or embarrassed to ask security or off-duty police officers who may be working to escort you to your vehicle if you feel uncomfortable.

· Walk briskly, confidently, and directly through the parking lot. Be cautious of people handing out fliers or asking questions in the parking area.

· Watch for people who may be following you. This can occur inside and outside of a shopping mall or other retailer. Always be alert to your surroundings!

· If you suspect someone following you, report it to police or security immediately.

Police Chief Terry Brannon said, “We are committed to providing a safe holiday shopping experience in Cushing. I want our citizens to remember that criminals never take time off so it is imperative that you do everything you can to minimize the risk of becoming a crime victim. Implementing these crime prevention recommendations will lessen your chance of becoming an unsuspecting victim.”