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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – With only eight days left before Christmas, parking lots and stores are filled with shoppers. It’s easy to become distracted by the sales, music and crowds of people. Police say that’s the moment thieves are most likely to strike, when you aren’t paying attention. If you must shop at night, park in a well-lit area. The lights help you see better and locate your vehicle faster.

“We want you to remember where you parked and you can walk straight to it. Always check around you, look behind you, make sure you’re not followed,” says Columbus Assistant Chief Tony Carleton.

Assistant Police Chief Tony Carleton says there haven’t been any reported problems in Columbus shopping areas. He says it’s best take extra precautions, especially when shopping with children.

You should always place your packages in your vehicle first and remember, never leave children in the car alone. Place them in your basket and take them with you as you go to replace your cart.

Keeping your children with you at all times and parking near a light pole are just a few steps that you can take to make your holiday shopping safer. Shoppers should also remember to lock all doors when leaving their vehicles.

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