AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – With ‘Black Friday’ approaching the High Plains fast, the Panhandle Auto Burglary & Theft Unit offered tips on how to keep safe during the holiday shopping season.
As annual sales are set up for Friday, officers asked the community to “please be safe and smart and do your part to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of an automobile crime,” with tips including:
- Park your car as close as you can to the store entrance in a well-lit area.
- Officers advised parking in a busy area where “a thief will be uncomfortable due to the amount of people around.”
- Remember where your car is parked by using nearby landmarks.
- Do not leave packages, shopping bags, or personal items where they can be seen from outsie the vehicle.
- Officers suggested hiding items in the trunk, or otherwise out of sight.
- Lock your car, take your keys.
- Officers said over 75% of vehicles stolen in Amarillo were stolen using keys. It is against the law to leave keys in an unattended vehicle.
- “Make it harder for the thief to get into your car by locking it,” advised officers, “A thief will break into the easiest target.”
- Know your surroundings when shopping and walking to and from your vehicle.
- When leaving a store, officers advised people to pay attention to who and what is going on in the area.
- Officers suggest walking with your keys in your hand, quickly loading your purchases, and locking the door to your vehicle once inside.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- “Shop with a buddy,” said officers, “there is safety in numbers.”