While you’re shopping last minute, don’t forget safety

University Mall Holiday Shoppers

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Gracie Johnson

As Santa prepares his sleigh for Christmas, plenty of people are still out and about gathering their last-minute gifts.

Whether that means hitting the stores or crossing your fingers and praying the boxes arrive in time, there are potential risks out there, said Tuscaloosa Police Capt. Kip Hart.

“Be aware of your surroundings, the people who are walking toward you or walking away, anybody who’s hanging out by your car,” Hart said. “In general, if you feel someone is suspicious or see something suspicious, don’t go to your car.”

And if you’re loading up a few bags in the car before heading back for more, Hart said you should do your best to keep those bags out of sight.

Getting packages shipped to your door? Keep an eye on delivery notifications so they’re not left out too long.

If you’re going to Grandma’s house (or anywhere else), put a stop on your mail so it doesn’t pile up. You can do that right here.

Police suggest keeping your lights on a timer if you’re going out of town, so thieves are less likely to notice your house is unoccupied.

The U.S. Post Office has several other package- and mail-related services that can keep your items safe including Informed Delivery and the ability to pick up your packages from your local post office. FedEx and UPS offer similar services, so if your home is prone to porch pirates, it’s the best way to ensure your stuff doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

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