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Stay safe as you shop till you drop

VICTORVILLE • Black Friday is looming just days away. And as residents gear up for a steady stream of trips to the local mall or shopping centers over the next month, deputies with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Victorville station are offering a series of tips to help shoppers stay safe through the bustling holiday season.

Officials advise:

• Don’t leave valuables in plain view inside of your vehicle. Conceal items by placing them in the truck before arriving at your destination.

• Disable the trunk release button.

• Park your car in a well-lit area close to the store.

• Shop in a group if possible.

• Hold your purse tightly on your shoulder, one arm grasping the strap.

• Keep credit cards and cash in your front pocket for easy access and to prevent them from being stolen with your purse.

• Call someone when you finish shopping to say you are leaving the mall.

• Combine shopping bags to create the illusion of fewer purchases.

• Have keys ready to open car door and walk with confidence through the parking lot.

• Be aware of your surroundings and make sure no one is following you as you go to your car.

• Place packages in the passenger seat and lock the doors after you get in.

• Report any suspicious persons or activity to your local Sheriff’s Department, or call 911 for emergencies.

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