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Holiday crime prevention tips

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Christmas is less than a week away.

That means many of us will be busy doing our last minute shopping over the next few days.

And police say thieves may be busy over the next few days as well.

It was a busy night of shopping at Arena Hub Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Wednesday.

With Christmas just five days away many shoppers, like Lindsey Horlacher, hit the stores for some last minute gifts.

State Police say anyone who's out at the stores this time of year should be aware of their surroundings.

Their first tip: always pay attention to those around you and don't be distracted from your purse or packages.

Also, they suggest you carry your purse close to your body and don't let it dangle by the straps.

Their third tip: walk purposefully, make eye contact with those around you, and have your keys ready to go.

When Lindsey's shopping alone she doesn't take any chances.

"I usually keep my phone, my cell phone, in my hand if I'm by myself so I can call someone quickly if something were to happen. Keep my purse close, and just be aware of my surroundings,” Horlacher said.

Police also suggest shoppers only carry the credit cards they'll be using... and don't carry or flash large amounts of money in public.

"I usually have money in my pocket, I'll just have that in my hand at all times,” Taedrah Randolph, Wilkes-Barre, said.

If you're shopping online, police suggest you use legitimate sites and don't give out any personal information over the phone.

"I don't really feel nervous about that, because I always check my credit card statements. So, I'm really up on it with checking them online. So, if I see something that's funny, I would just call the company,” Horlacher added.

Another suggestion: park in a well-lit area.

Also, don't keep your gifts in the back of your car; they say it's best to keep them in the trunk where they're less visible.

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