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Local police offer safety tips for holiday shopping ventures

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Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 5:58 am, Thu Dec 1, 2011.

Black Friday was just the beginning of the holiday season shopping spree, and already there have been reports stateand nationwide about shoppers facing safety issues as they scramble to get the low-priced Xbox 360 or the marked-down flat-screen television.

And while safe shopping was not a problem in Lodi, police are not taking any chances when it comes to ensuring the safety of residents while they are out picking up presents for family and friends.

Lodi police and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department are asking shoppers to take extra precautions this holiday season in hopes that everyone not only stays safe, but also that presents and purses are not taken from shopping carts or from cars.

“That is the biggest problem we have faced, people leaving gifts in their cars,” said Sgt. Steve Nelson of the Lodi Police Department. “When presents are left in cars, that is when people take the opportunity (to steal them).”

In addition to protecting presents, the sheriff’s department also suggests that shoppers follow other precautions in hopes that they have a happy and healthy holiday season. According to a statement released by the Sheriff’s department, various tips shoppers should follow include shopping during the day as well as shopping with others.

The department’s statement also stressed that shoppers not overload themselves with presents.

“It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps,” according to the statement.

Another important shopping suggestion the Sheriff’s department hopes all residents remember is to beware of strangers approaching you for any reason.

According to the department, at this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intent of taking your money or belongings.

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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