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Madison County Sheriff's Department shares tips for shopping safely this holiday season


It’s the busiest time of the year for shopping…while many are out buying presents some are trying to take advantage of others. Whether you’re shopping online or in person the Madison County Sheriff's Department advises that you play it safe.

“Make sure that all your merchandise is hidden, you don’t want things in the front seat or the back seat where people can look in there and see and be tempted to break in and steal it, so put it in the trunk,” says Tom Mapes of the sheriff's department.

Tom Mapes of the madison county sheriff’s office says it's also important when you shop, "Shop as much as you can during the daytime hours if you can because it’s just a lot safer.”

Mapes says if you have to shop in stores after dark park as close to a light as possible.

Another tip: when you bring your gifts to the car, Mapes recommends you have your keys ready to go, “Keep your key fob handy and when you hit the key fob you got some help there. Where somebody can say, ‘hey somethings going on they need some help.’ cause some attention, maybe run somebody off.”

The sheriff's department also advises when shopping in public, try not to carry a lot of cash and always keep your wallet or purse close to your body.

With many of us shopping online this year, Mapes says it's important to take steps to prevent your packages from being stolen, "We suggest people have them delivered not necessarily to the house, the front yard right there by the mailbox. But go ahead and have them delivered to a neighbor who may be at home or maybe to a relative, or even call… and say ‘hey here’s my tracking number. Hold that merchandise for me and I’ll come and pick it up myself.’ that will keep you away from the porch pirates some.”

Mapes says the most important thing while shopping is to pay attention to what’s around you, "Be careful. Be aware of your surroundings and just be alert.”

The sheriff’s office says just taking those few extra steps to be "careful and alert," can help you have a happy and safe holiday season.

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