Police offer advice for safer shopping

As the holiday shopping season begins and it gets darker earlier, law enforcement can see an increase in criminal activity, officials said.

Brookhaven Police Chief Bobby Bell suggests shoppers park as close as possible to store entrances and in well-lit areas. No valuables should be left in view within a car. Christmas presents should be hidden in a trunk. Cars should be left locked at all times.

“This time of year, we get careless,” Bell said. “We have so many people who will leave their car unlocked, and even leave their key in the ignition. Make sure you lock your car up and take your keys with you.”

Shoppers should always be mindful of their surroundings, and Bell said if shoppers need to carry a purse they should carry the strap across their body.

Bell said shoppers should always call the police if they see something suspicious or if they feel like they are in danger.

“This is very important to us,” Bell said. “If you at any time feel unsafe when you leave the store, please give us a call. We will escort you to your vehicle, no matter what store or what your location.”