MARQUETTE — With the upcoming holiday season approaching, so does the busiest shopping day of the year. The Marquette County Sheriff’s Department would like to pass on some tips for shoppers to stay safe.

Undersheriff Klein said that, “crooks love the holidays as much as everyone else because they represent an increased opportunity for crime.”

With that in mind it’s important to keep your purse close to your body, and wallets inside a coat or front pocket. Perhaps most critical is remaining vigilant.

“Typically you should go out with your friends and your family and shop in groups,” said Marquette County Sheriff’s Department Undersheriff Michael Klein, “and always be aware of your surroundings. Keep a look out for people around you that may not be there to be shopping. Be alert of your surroundings and the people that are around you and that they’re not looking over your shoulder when you’re checking out to get credit card numbers, checking account numbers etc.”

Some other words of advice include carrying small amounts of cash, parking in well–lit areas, and to keep children near adults at all times.

Deputies will be working in the mall and some retail stores as well.

  • Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Dress casually and comfortably.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
  • Always carry your driver’s license or identification along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
  • Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
  • Keep cash in your front pocket.
  • Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
  • Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
  • Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con-artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

Click here to visit the Michigan Sheriff’s Association website here for other safety tips and to receive monthly newsletters.