Distracted shoppers easy target for thieves

Experts offer tips to stay safe

INDIANAPOLIS - Police across the country have issued holiday shopping warnings, and they say robbery is only one of the crimes that goes up in the winter.

As people shuffle to and from stores this season, law enforcement officials remind us to stay alert.

"I'm just kind of always looking around, making sure there's no one straggling around by the cars," said Emily Flack, who we found out shopping this weekend.

Criminologists say robbers look for vulnerable victims, like distracted people with their heads buried in electronics.

"Most of the time I have so many things on my mind that I don't even think about staying alert, then I take it for granted," one shopper told us. "I think, 'I'm a guy. I'm not going to worry about it. I'm not the easy target.'"

  • Experts offered several tips to help keep you and your possessions safe while out and about:
  • Consider wearing a fanny pack, rather than a purse.
  • Park in a place that will be well-lit when you return.
  • Keep the numbers to your credit and debit card companies in your pocket so you can quickly cancel the cards if they are lost or stolen.

Police say you should also be sure to lock your vehicle and hid valuables, preferably in the trunk or a locked compartment.

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