With the holidays right around the corner, Montgomery County residents will be out in droves shopping throughout the county.
Montgomery County Police warn residents not to become distracted while shopping.
“Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times,” said MCPD spokesperson Officer Nicole Gamard. “When residents are going to shopping centers, they should park in well-lit parking lots and park as close to the mall or store as possible. They should lock their car doors and keep packages hidden in the trunk or under the seats of their vehicle.”
Gamard said after parking, shoppers should walk with confidence and trust their instincts.
“If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave the area,” she said.
Gamard said women should carry their purses as close to their bodies as possible and should place their wallets in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
“Shoppers should not flash large amounts of cash or other tempting targets like expensive jewelry or clothing,” Gamard said. “Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door. If you think that someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street and walk toward an open store, restaurant, or lighted house.”
According to the FBI, national crime rates have declined in recent years. An FBI study revealed more than 400,000 robberies occur in the United States during the months of November and December each year.
While the research shows robberies spike during the holiday season, the national clearance rate for burglaries remains low. Across the country, less than 15 percent of reported burglaries are resolved.