As Christmas draws near, crowds at Huntington Beach’s most popular retail spots will thicken as shoppers round out their gift-giving lists.
Getting caught up and the hustle and bustle of the season can leave many people vulnerable to crime, police said.
Burglary, theft and vehicle burglary are some of the most common crimes that hit residents across Orange County.
Huntington Beach in December 2013 saw 61 burglaries, 138 vehicle burglaries and three robberies.
“Our officers have a heightened awareness for any kind of criminal activity this holiday season from drunken driving to burglary,” said Officer Jennifer Marlatt, Huntington Beach PD’s Public Information Officer. “But residents can help safeguard themselves, their homes and their belongings by being alert and aware.”
Here are some tips from HBPD to stay safe during the holidays:
– When walking to your car, take notice of your surroundings. If you see something suspicious, find a security guard or police officer immediately.
– Do not talk on the cell phone while walking to and from your vehicle. Be fully aware of your surroundings.
– Do not leave any packages or shopping bags in plain view in your vehicle.
– Always lock your car.
– If shopping at night, park in well-lit areas close to your shopping destination.
– Shop with a friend or in a group. Safety in numbers.
– Be wary of any strangers who approach you in the parking lot. Con artists will sometimes use distraction in an attempt to steal your belongings.
– Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and carry cash in a front pocket.
– When bringing gifts home, keep wrapped packages away from any windows. Piles of presents serve as a temptation for thieves.
– Get to know your neighbors. The holidays are a nice time to meet your neighbors, which can help keep the community safe. Acquainted neighbors are more likely to watch out for each other’s homes and safety.