The holiday season is approaching us and is always a special time of year.

It is also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to theft and other types of holiday crime.

With many of us out shopping we need to be aware of our surroundings, we can never be too careful or too aware. Please share this information with family, friends, and neighbors.

The Shawnee Police Department wishes you a safe and peaceful holiday season.

Shopping in groups is recommended but with everybody’s busy schedule it might not be feasible so shopping during daylight hours or parking in well lighted areas is best.

Dress casually and comfortably and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

Do not carry a big purse and avoid having a large amount of cash and use a credit card if possible (or keep cash in your front pocket).

Be extra careful if you do carry a purse because they are the prime targets of criminals in a crowded area.

Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason while in the stores or walking out to your vehicle.

If you see something suspicious don’t hesitate to ask someone from the store to walk you out.

If you can’t walk to your vehicle in a group, have your car remote with the panic button handy. It can draw attention and may scare the threat away.

If you feel unsafe or feel someone is following you, stay in a public place and call 911 or drive to the police department.

As you drive from store to store, be cautious of not leaving valuable items in plain view. When you get home and begin to unload things, keep an eye out for anyone that could be watching you.

As we like to share things on social media, be aware that anything you post can give thieves ideas of what you might have at home.

If you’re expecting deliveries, make sure someone is at home to receive the items and not left on the porch.

Also, with the cold weather approaching do not leave your vehicle running unattended, see city’s ordinance below.

• Sec. 19-443. - Unattended motor vehicle. • The person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall not permit it to stand unattended

without first stopping the engine and effectively setting the brake thereon and, when standing upon any grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the street.