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Police offer safety tips for holiday shoppers

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With the holiday season in full swing, area police departments are reminding residents to lock their cars, take their keys, and hide their belongings in the trunk so presents can make it safely home under the tree.

“Since the vast majority of car burglaries in Flower Mound occur when valuables are left in plain sight, the police department recommends placing items out of sight before reaching your destination or move them inconspicuously,” said FMPD Captain Wess Griffin.

Police also suggest only placing items in the trunk when ready to drive to another destination; never put bags in the trunk and walk away to continue shopping.

It is always a good idea to park and walk in lighted areas whenever possible after dark.  When returning to your vehicle, carry your keys in your hand and be ready to unlock the door and enter as quickly as possible. When approaching your vehicle, scan the area, glance underneath the vehicle, and take a quick look inside before entering, Griffin suggested.

“It is always important to be aware of your surroundings and scan the area from time to time. Try to avoid focusing on shopping so intensely that you lose track of your surroundings, others near you, or your personal property,” said Griffin.

“There’s safety in numbers so make an effort to shop with friends or relatives, if possible.”

The Highland Village Police Department has a new program that they hope will help reduce vehicle burglaries.

HVPD officers and Police Civilian Auxiliary volunteers will be handing out “Stop Thief” placards to residents and business patrons in the city during the holidays.

The bright yellow placards are hung on the rearview mirror when the vehicle is parked and announces to criminals that the vehicle does not have valuables inside.

The free hangars serve as a reminder to vehicle owners to secure their cars, remove any valuables, and to be proactive in preventing crime, according to a press release from the HVPD.

Hangers are available at the Police Department and Police Storefront in The Marketplace at Highland Village shopping center. Residents may also have one delivered to them by contacting the police department at 972-317-6551 or email at hvpd@highlandvillage.org.

Flower Mound and Highland Village Police also offer vacation house checks to residents who will be traveling during the holidays.

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