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Christmas gifts left in the car present a crime of opportunity

Officials at the Ohio Valley Mall say they have extra security on staff throughout the holiday season to keep an eye on the large crowds.

December is a busy month for malls and stores across the country, as people are picking out those perfect presents.

If you are one of those people, there are a few safety tips you should practice. Officials at the Ohio Valley Mall say they have extra security on staff throughout the holiday season to keep an eye on the large crowds.

They say the biggest thing you can do is to be aware of your surroundings and stay off your phone while keeping it handy. If you have a big trip and are putting packages in your car but still have some shopping to do, make sure you hide those gifts.

“Don't leave your packages out in plain sight out in your vehicle,” said Joe Bell, mall spokesman. “Lock them in your trunk or cover them over with something because that's the crime of opportunity that's most common in a shopping center where someone is looking for (merchandise) that's free and clear, and they want to find vehicles where they can grab it and go.”

If you can, park in a well-lit area, and make sure your keys are on you and ready to go.

If you do think someone is following you, or you feel targeted or in danger by any means, touch base with security at the mall and make sure you keep your phone on you in case you need to call 911.

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