Crooks Target Holiday Shoppers - NBC New York

Crooks Target Holiday Shoppers

Holiday Shopping Safety



    Crooks Target Holiday Shoppers
    Getty Images
    NEW YORK - OCTOBER 08: Shoppers carry shopping bags on Fifth Avenue October 8, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Before you shop till you drop remember when you are in the mall, checking out, or even getting into your car someone maybe stealing from you.

    Besides shoppers, identity thieves, car burglars, and pickpockets are also trolling the malls this holiday season. 

    "You have a lot of shrewd criminals out there they know how to use technology and you have to be one step ahead of them," says Detective Sergeant Anthony Repalone from the Nassau County Police Department.  “They look at it as a crime of opportunity and they are despicable.”

    New Hyde Park resident Angela Teta shops at night so to stay safe:
    "I don't bring a pocketbook because I want my hands free."

    Police say that's a good start and also recommend when shopping:
    - Put little bags into big ones
    - Keep your purse closed
    - Avoid handbags if possible

    "If you're a woman and you can get away with carrying some credit cards and cash in your front pockets that's great," said Det. Sgt. Repalone.

    When using credit cards while shopping police recommend:
    -Keeping all shopping receipts
    -Watch the store clerk swipe your card
    -Never lose sight of your card

    When leaving the mall police say never click the remote lock button when you are walking to your vehicle.  The button sometimes unlocks all the doors and makes your vehicle a more vulnerable target for a thief.

    "While your putting your items in the trunk he could be in your front seat grabbing your handbag," says Det. Sgt. Repalone

    To avoid other car burglaries including smash and grabs police advise:
    -Hide your G.P.S. or laptop computer out of plain sight
    -Keep all gifts and purchases in the trunk
    -Limit the amount of trips to the car.