ENID, Okla. — Enid Police Department is encouraging holiday shoppers to take a few extra precautions this season to prevent thefts or individual harm and remain safe while checking items off their lists.

“Being aware of your surroundings and taking an active role in safety can save you the headache of unexpected losses,” EPD stated in a press release.

EPD is encouraging people to do the following:

• Before using an ATM machine, take time to look around and identify any potential risks. Use machines in populated places and constantly pay attention to what’s going on around you.

• If possible, use ATM machines during daylight hours, and if a trip must be made after dark, pick a machine that is well-lit and visible to surrounding traffic.

• If anyone is lurking near the machine, pass it up and find another.

• Once cash has been withdrawn and banking has been completed, shoppers need to remain vigilant about their cash, credit cards and identification.

• Avoid carrying your checkbook, cash and credit cards all together in one wallet because a thief who gets the whole package together can cash checks with your identification and run up a large credit card bill in a short amount of time.

• Don’t flash large rolls of money in public. You never know who’s watching.

• Plan for each shopping trip. Bring one or two credit cards and a limited amount of cash to make specific purchases.

• If you store your valuables in your pockets, place your checkbook, cash or credit cards in your front pockets.

• Keep your credit card receipts and check them against your monthly bills.

• In case of credit card theft, we suggest making a list of all major credit cards, account numbers and the phone numbers to call if cards are lost. Keep the list at home in a safe or secured place.

• Don’t leave handbags unattended.

• Don’t leave purses or wallets in your vehicle.

• Don’t leave purses in shopping carts or turn your back to your purse when out shopping.

• Don’t leave valuables in your car that are clearly visible from the outside. Place such items in your vehicle’s glovebox or console, or taken them with you or inside.

• Always park where there is plenty of light, not only around your vehicle but also from your car to the store entrance. Once you park, familiarize yourself with the car’s location so you can find it without delay.

• For those shopping alone or in fewer numbers, do not hesitate in asking the store for a security escort if you feel unsafe.

• When leaving a store or a mall, check the surroundings from nearby the exit and ensure it is safe before heading toward a vehicle or the next destination.

• Have your keys in your hand before you go to your car. Use the trunk of your car to keep your packages out of sight. Keep your car locked at all times.

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McKendrick is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. 
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Kelci? Send an email to kelcim@enidnews.com.

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