Two takeaways on safety during holiday shopping

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – As holiday shopping continues, and as police report more instances of thefts and robberies, KOB 4’s public safety expert has two takeaways.

A viewer sent KOB 4 video of what they say shows at least three people stealing from the Target on Wyoming recently. It appears whoever is taking the video is trying to chase down the thieves.

“Get the license plate. Get the license plate,” a person is heard saying.

Two people can be seen in the back of a red truck. One of them flips off the camera, and they end up getting away.

KOB 4 Public Safety Expert and retired APD Commander Paul Szych says it’s best not to chase after anyone. Instead, just safely get as much information as you can, like a vehicle description and direction, and tell police.

“Many offenders that are property crime offenders are also capable of becoming or acting as violent offenders if cornered,” Szych said.

With the holiday shopping season underway, here are Szych’s top two tips on staying safe.

1 — Stay aware of your surroundings.

“Exiting the car, looking around you — not just staring at the ground — and you’re walking into the store as you’re looking around because just like people are looking for you, you need to be looking for them,” Szych said.

2 — Especially for women, don’t carry a purse inside. Lock it in your trunk before you get there.

“That alone will dramatically reduce the possibility of you having yourself targeted for theft,” Szych said.

He said it’s best if you are able to simply have your phone, credit card and ID with you as you enter and exit stores instead of using a bag.