Holiday season is crime season

Delaware authorities say the holiday season brings with it a spike in certain types of crime.

Such as the incident that happened Tuesday morning in the Wal-Mart parking lot on Centerville Road in Wilmington. According to the Delaware State Police, a female victim was getting into her car when a male suspect suddenly opened the door, reached onto her lap, and stole her wallet.

“This is part of the problem we have during the holidays,” said state police Master Cpl. Jeffrey Hale. “People not taking the proper precautions when they’re shopping and setting themselves up to be victims of crime like this.”

Hale says they typically see an increase in criminal activity during the busy shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, mainly because there are more targets.

But, he said, that doesn’t mean people should become victims.

“Mostly we want to tell people to be wary of their surroundings,” he said. “If somebody looks, or is acting in a suspicious manner, we want them to trust their senses and contact police. It may be nothing, but then again it may be someone who is watching them or watching someone else and preparing to commit a crime.”

While shopping, police suggest following these basic precautions to lessen the chance of becoming a victim:

* Park only in well lit areas.

* Always be aware of suspicious people around you.

* Carry your purse close to your body, not over your shoulder.

* Make sure all items, especially cell phones, gifts, and GPS systems are hidden or locked away.

If you are going away during the holiday season, these tips will help ensure the safety of your property.

* Make sure your residence appears occupied by leaving lights and radios on a timer.

* Check windows and doors to make sure they are properly locked and secured.

* Ask a neighbor to leave their vehicle parked in your driveway.

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