As the holiday season is picking up speed, the El Paso Police Department’s Auto Theft Task Force would like to pass along some tips to keep shoppers and their vehicles safe.
“With the brunt of the holiday shopping season just around the corner, please be safe and smart and do your part to not fall victim to a car thief, or burglar,” EPPD officials shared
Officers shared six ways to keep a vehicle safe while holiday shopping, with parking lot safety tips to keep residents and their gifts safe
1. Watch where you park
Find a parking space as close as you can to the store entrance and under a light, if it’s dark. Make a note of any nearby signs, poles, or other landmarks to make it easier to find your way back. Try to avoid parking next to large vans or SUVs that give a thief privacy.
2. Lock it up
It may sound obvious, but law enforcement professionals say that many thefts are the result of unlocked cars. Double check to make sure you close the windows and lock all the doors before leaving the car. And don’t forget the sunroof.
3. Hide the goods
Don’t leave packages, phones, music players, or other valuables on the seats, floor, dash, or anywhere in sight. Lock items in the trunk or otherwise stash them out of sight. Even a cell phone cord is an invitation for trouble
4. Keep moving
If you come out of the store to drop off a load of packages, move the car to another space before going back for more shopping, or better yet take them home. Criminals may be watching and know you won’t be back for a while.
5. Stay focused
Pay attention to your surroundings while walking to and from your car. Walk with a purpose, and stay off the phone. Have your keys ready as you approach the car, and get yourself and your packages inside quickly. Then lock the doors.
6. Take Your Keys
This may also seem a bit obvious but nearly half of all stolen vehicles have the keys in them and it is against the law to leave the keys in an unattended vehicle