'Tis the season for holiday shopping. Police say it's also the perfect time for petty crime.
Chrissy Ward knows the best way to shop and stay safe.
"I try and keep, you know, anything of value hidden and stowed away. Park in well lit areas, be sure I always have people around me and try to park close to the stores as well." said Ward
Those are things police want you to remember so you don't become the perfect target for petty crime.
Sgt. Pete Ritchie with the Harrisonburg Police Department says, "It's all about security. Security of your vehicle. Security of your belongs and of course, security of yourself."
Ritchie explains it starts when you leave your house, don't wear clothing that will draw attention to you. He also says don't get distracted by your cell phone.
"You're not maintaining the focus on what you're doing at the time. So as you're talking to somebody, you get caught up in the phone call. By the time you get off the phone and look around, your purse could be gone, your kids could be gone." said Ritchie.
Police are stepping up patrols and several stores have hired their own security. For Chrissy, it's always best to be on the look out. She says, "never have that false sense of security."
Another thing to keep in mind is to pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible, because cash can't be easily replaced if it's stolen.
Don't carry large amounts of cash and don't buy more than you can carry.
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