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As we all know, holiday shopping this year will be quite a bit different compared to most years. Given our current circumstances if you happen to shop in person while following the latest COVID-19 health guidelines, your Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office offers the following shopping safety tips as the holiday season is fast approaching. We have also included some tips for those who shop online:

Be alert and aware. Be attentive to your surroundings at all times.

Don’t carry more cash or valuables than is necessary. Be discreet so that you don’t attract attention.

Take extra precautions with your wallet or purse. Carry your purse with the opening flap next to your body and with the strap hung over your shoulder.

Allow for darkness. It gets dark early this time of year, so be sure to factor this into shopping plans.

Instruct children on holiday safety measures. Know where your children are at all times. Before going shopping, decide where to meet if you and your children should become separated.

Always lock your car doors and remember where you park.

Be sure to place valuables out of sight (i.e. packages, purses, mobile phones, etc.). Place them in the trunk or take them with you. This includes portable GPS units.

Never hide spare keys in or on your car. These hiding places are easily discovered. If you need spare keys, keep them in your wallet or purse.

Be alert to suspicious persons or circumstances. Avoid parking where you see someone sitting in their vehicle for no apparent reason.

Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in a situation, report it to security immediately.

When walking in any parking lot, grocery store, airport, shopping center, etc., walk confidently with your head up, make eye contact, and have your keys ready.

Do not drive across parking stalls. Use appropriate marked driving lanes and obey all traffic signs.

Drive defensively and courteously.

Report all suspicious activity.

And remember, parking lots will be more crowded and checkout lanes will be busier, so please be patient and have a safe shopping experience.

If you shop online, here are some ways to avoid becoming a victim of Porch Pirates – those who steal unattended packages from people’s property. They are heavily active this time of year.

Schedule deliveries to arrive when you will be at home or have them delivered to your office.

Have a trusted neighbor or friend pick up your packages if you won’t be home.

Install a security camera on your property.

Have packages delivered to a shipping store or an Amazon locker. If you hold a post office box, use USPS for shipping and take advantage of their package lockers to receive your items. Some post offices even allow boxholders to use it’s street address, with the customer’s box number as the “unit” number for deliveries from other carriers.

Have a safe and Happy Holiday!

For more information and tips, visit our web site at www.lincolncountysheriff.net and Like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon.

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