Washoe Sheriff, RPD urge safe shopping for Christmas season

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - As Christmas shopping season gets underway, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office reminds shoppers to stay focused on personal safety.

Here are some tips to keep in mind before heading out to the stores:

First and foremost, stay alert. Do not get so caught up in the shopping frenzy that you lose awareness of your surroundings. Report suspicious activity to law enforcement or store security.

Winter weather is possible for Black Friday and the weekend. Use extra caution while driving, dress appropriately and be prepared for cold and icy conditions.

More Tips:

Avoid shopping alone; there is added safety when shopping with a companion.
Always lock vehicles and keep valuables out of sight, preferably in the trunk or locked compartment.
Before sunrise and after sunset, park and walk in well-lit areas.
Stay alert to your surroundings. Take time to look around for possible suspicious persons, vehicles, and/or situations.
When in crowded places, be alert for potential thieves. Don’t overload yourself with packages. Maintain visibility and mobility to avoid potential threats.
Be wary of unsolicited phone calls. The holiday season is notorious for con-artists who use this "season of giving" to take advantage of your kindness.
When possible, avoid carrying large amount of cash and valuables, and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
When using the new “chip” credit cards, make sure they have not been left in the card reader before leaving the checkout counter.
Keep close track of all your personal belongings and never leave them unattended.
Keep a record of all your credit card numbers in a secure place at home.
When shopping with children, keep a close eye on them at all times. Consider coaching them to go to a store clerk or security guard if they become separated and be sure they know their first and last name so they can advise someone who they are.
Give children a contact phone number that they can carry on their person in case they do become lost.

More safety tips are available from the Sheriff’s Office by clicking here.

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The Reno Police Department has offered a similar list of tips:

 Park your vehicle in well-lit areas
 Lock your vehicle
 Avoid leaving gifts and valuables in your vehicle while shopping. If you must do so, conceal items out of view
 Be patient. Expect long delays in stores, parking lots, and on the streets around the major shopping areas in Reno and Sparks.
 Consider using a single credit card, it is easier to cancel one card than several if your card is compromised.
 Keep a list of your credit and debit card numbers at home
 Don’t provide unnecessary information and beware of scams
 When shopping with children keep an eye on them at all times.
 Obey The Laws… Drive the speed limit, stop at stop signs, don’t try to beat the red lights, don’t park in handicap or fire lane spots, be mindful of increased pedestrian traffic especially small children who may get away from their parents.
 Prepare for winter driving conditions

The Reno Police Department will also have dedicated officers out on Friday November 23, 2018 in the major shopping areas in South and North Reno to ensure the communities safety both at the malls and on the streets.