Everyone enjoys the holidays, and each of us does it in our own way. But with all the hustle and bustle going on during the season, it’s also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. We can never be too careful, too prepared, or too aware. So we’d like to share the following tips with you to help ensure you’ll get through the season happy – and most of all, safe.

While Out Shopping

• Try to shop during daylight hour. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

• Dress casually and comfortably – and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

• In parking lots – even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.

• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash – and carry the cash you do have in your front pocket.

• Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.

• If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located in a well-lit location – and withdraw only the amount of cash you need.

• Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.

• Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.

• Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in the event they are separated from you.

• Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.

• Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.

• Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car.

• Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security.

• Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.

• Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home. (Not on your cell phone!)

• Wallets and purses are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, and especially in tourist locations (of which Las Vegas has many!).

• Avoid overloading yourself with packages. Take two trips to your vehicle if you have to – or better yet, ask the store clerk for help. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.

• Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con-artists will try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings – or even worse.

Driving Safe – Before, During & After Your Trip

• When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.

• Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car, and set your alarm or use an anti-theft device if you have one.

• If you must shop at night, park in a well-lit area.

• Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.

• Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.

• Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.

• Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.

• Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.

• Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car – or leave it in the shopping cart – in order to open the door or load your packages.

• Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.

Keeping Things Safe At Home

• Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.

• When leaving home for an extended time, ask a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.

• Put both indoor and outdoor lights on an automatic timer.

• When not at home, leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.

• Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.

• Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts or flowers.

• It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved.

Enjoy Those Holiday Parties, But . . .

• Arrange for an official designated driver who will not drink at all.

• Have something to eat before consuming alcoholic beverages and know your safe limit.

• Never drink and drive.

With extra attention paid to what is going on around you, you’re more than likely to NOT be the target of criminals – they tend to focus on those who are distracted or unaware of their immediate surroundings. So stay aware and stay safe this season – because there’s way too much to celebrate (and to eat)!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for a newly-built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!