Holiday Safety Tips

The Friday after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday, is often regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season which runs through Christmas Eve. During this time period, retail outlets traditionally offer significant sales and deals luring multitudes of consumers to their stores and websites. The large crowds at physical sites and people seeking the best deals online, attract criminals as well. The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division will be conducting extra patrols in and around shopping centers and retail outlets throughout the parish during the busy holiday shopping season, but there are many ways consumers can protect themselves from becoming a victim.

  • Secure Parking: Always park in well-lit areas and lock your vehicle. Avoid leaving valuable items visible and vary your parking spots to deter potential thieves.
  • Conceal Purchases: Keep purchases out of sight by storing them in your trunk or using blankets and bags to disguise them. Avoid leaving gifts unattended in shopping carts.
  • Personal Safety: Maintain a firm grip on your purse and belongings. Be cautious of strangers approaching you with offers or requests for money.
  • ATM Safety: Use ATMs in well-lit, secure locations. Shield your PIN from view and consider using drive-up ATMs for added security.
  • Shopping Companion: Whenever possible, shop with a friend or family member. Leave children at home with a trusted caregiver to focus on your shopping and safety.
  • Online Shopping: Ensure secure online transactions by checking for HTTPS and a secure icon in the address bar. Avoid clicking on links from unfamiliar websites or emails.
  • Package Deliveries: Opt for delivery to a location where someone can receive the package, or choose to pick up items from a secure facility.
  • Receipts and Documentation: Keep receipts and order confirmations as proof of purchase. They are essential if items are lost or stolen.
  • Home Security: Secure your home by keeping gifts out of view from outside and avoiding social media posts that reveal your absence. Arrange for someone to check your home daily if you’re away.

By staying vigilant and following these tips, you can enjoy a safer shopping experience this holiday season. Remember, awareness of your surroundings is key to protecting yourself and deterring criminals. Together, we can ensure a safe and joyous holiday for everyone in Tangipahoa Parish.