The holiday season is one of our favorite times of year as our community comes together to give thanks and support those in need. However, it’s also important to stay alert this season so you can avoid the uptick in crimes that often occur at the end of the year. Here are five shopping tips to keep in mind this December.

1. Shop with a buddy whenever possible.

You will decrease your likelihood of being targeted when shopping with a spouse or friend—and you’ll probably have a lot more fun, too!

2. Use a credit or debit card instead of cash.

In addition to keeping a record of all transactions during the holiday season, you’ll be able to easily cancel your account and avoid charges if your cards are lost or stolen.

3. Don’t leave packages in your car while shopping.

As tempting as it is to deposit your purchases in your vehicle before heading to another store, doing so could make you a target for parking lot thieves. Instead, break up your shopping trips or ask the stores if they will hold your purchases at the counter.

4. Keep your children within sight.

In crowded malls and shopping centers, it’s easy for children to get lost. Make sure older children know to stay within eye contact at all times and to stay alert.

5. Don’t leave boxes for expensive items visible at home. If you are purchasing expensive electronics or other big-ticket items, be careful not to advertise it by leaving the boxes out by the trash. Instead, break down the boxes and recycle them.

From all of us at Hall Acura Virginia Beach, here’s wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!