Protect yourself against holiday thieves

December 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Economy is down and crime is up this holiday season. Learn how to protect yourself against pick-pockets, purse snatchers and other holiday thievery. To avoid becoming a victim of holiday season scams, police offered the following tips:

? Keep purses or bags close to your body, or under a jacket or coat.

? Keep wallets in your front pants pocket or coat breast pocket.

? Shop with friends and make sure one person is keeping an eye on your purses and bags while the other browse.

? Always be alert and walk confidently.

? Be aware of those passing you on a crowded bus, train, sidewalk or in an elevator. Someone who bumps into you could be a pickpocket.

? Do not leave packages or valuables in a car seat visible from outside. Keep them locked in the trunk.

? Do not carry valuables in backpacks, they are easily accessible in crowded spaces.

? Destroy copies of credit card receipts and avoid carrying personal bank information in your wallet.

? Be aware of your belongings while at a restaurant ot hotel lounge. Purses hung on chairs or on the floor are easy targets for thieves.

? If someone does steal something from you, try to get a good look at them and call police immediately.