Steinbach RCMP are offering a few tips to make sure you are not the target of thieves this Christmas.
Community Constable Dennis Redikop says when you are out shopping, never keep your wallet in the back pocket. Instead, it should always be either in your front pocket or inside your jacket pocket. Also, don't carry large amounts of cash with you. If by chance your wallet is snatched, Redikop suggests cancelling your credit cards as quickly as possible. And if you are using a debit or credit card, he recommends hiding your PIN in case someone is trying to look over your shoulder.
If you are pushing a shopping cart, Redikop says you should always keep it close by. Even rounding the corner for a second, without your cart, could be enough time for a thief to snatch what is inside. And when it is time to bring your purchased parcels to your vehicle, Redikop says you should try to hide them in a trunk or beneath a blanket.
"If you are done shopping, then put everything in the car and bring it home," suggests Redikop. "But I don't recommend putting anything in the car unless you are completely done and leaving."
He suggests always parking in a well lit area as thieves prefer working in the dark.
Meanwhile, if you receive big ticket items this Christmas, Redikop says it is important not to tip off thieves. He says by placing those boxes into your recycle bin, you are letting the public know what is inside your house. Rather, Redikop says you should break down the boxes and consider placing them inside a recycle bag instead.
Any jewelry received over Christmas should be documented with a photo and the serial numbers of all items should be written down.
If you are heading away this Christmas, Redikop recommends having someone check in on your place while you are gone. This includes shovelling snow in order to make it look like you are still home. Leaving lights on inside your house is also a good idea to leave the impression that you are not away.
He adds with the cold weather now upon us, many people are starting their cars and then leaving them unattended while they warm up. Redikop says you should never leave your keys inside a running vehicle unless you are in the driver's seat.