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Keeping your belongings safe this holiday shopping season

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 8:05 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - If you’re headed out the door for some Black Friday holiday shopping, local police departments want you to watch your belongings so thieves don’t steal your Christmas.

“If you provide an opportunity to a criminal, they’re going to take it. And then they’ll see what happens,” Williston Police Chief Patrick Foley said. “More people are out, more people are shopping. There’s more wares that people can get, more property, but this is a common theme we’re seeing right now in the last probably three months.”

Foley offers some advice to keep your gifts and personal items safe.

First, if you make a purchase and head to another store, make sure you cover up your belongings in the car with dark fabric. But also try not to make it obvious.

“Especially iPhones, iPads, anything electronic... cameras,” said Foley, “The thieves, they’re looking for something they can quickly get, put in their pockets and run away. Sell it on the streets, sell it any place they could sell it for.”

When parking, go for the well-lit spots. If you can see a security camera from your car’s spot, even better. Foley says any sort of pictures or video of the thief can help.

“People think, ‘Ah, I’m only going to be there for five minutes.’ They come back out and their car has been ransacked,” Foley said.

The easiest trick of all-- just lock your doors. It’s not foolproof but it can be a deterrent to criminals.

Williston police say, like many places, they are running on short staffing, but they will try to keep patrols out in the heavily shopped spots.

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