Holiday shopping, stay alert and stay safe

Racheal Dosant 
Life Reporter

Holiday shopping is here.

This time of the year people are out, taking on the hustle and bustle of finding the perfect gifts for Christmas.

With busy traffic in the parking lots and inside the shopping malls, being a safe, and wise shopper is something people shouldremember.

“Don’t just go looking,” said Ken Cox, manager of the Calvin Klein store at the Heartland Town Centre in Mississauga. “Have a plan of what you want to buy and for who.”

He strongly suggests, going directly to the products you want.

“If you tend to look around not knowing what you want, you waste time and end up spending more money than you might have wanted too.” Cox said.

“I tend to start my holiday shopping earlier on in the year to avoid long line ups and people who are up to no good around this time of year,” said Kelly Brown, 39, who was actually out shopping for herself instead of gifts.

“Start early, less stress, and I have more time for myself.” Brown laughs.

While other shoppers want to get their hands on the latest toys and technology, keep in mind thieves are also lurking around in efforts to get their hands on whatever is of value to them.

Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management at Humber College, Rob Kilfoyle advises shoppers to be mindful of their belongings.

“The risk when you go holiday shopping is thieves,” said Kilfoyle “When you start to manage multiple packages, such as your shopping bags, coats and your purse, it becomes too much and it is easy to losetrack of things.”

“The best thing for shoppers to do is go in the mall empty handed.”

Kilfoyle said.

Depending on how long people plan on shopping, use a locker that the mall provides to secure all items. Or, shoppers can bring the shopping bags back to their vehicles, said Kilfoyle.

“Secure your purchases in a closed trunk and never leave them out in plain view, such as the back seat of your car or SUV, where it becomes a visible target for people to see,” he said.

“They will follow shoppers coming out of the mall, watch them place their shopping bags in the vehicle and once shoppers proceed back into the mall they will know what vehicle to target next.”

Kilfoyle suggest people move their vehicles to a new parking spot. Moving automobiles from one spot to another helps throw off thieves.

Kilfoyle also suggested Christmas shoppers should consider taking a taxi to get the holiday shopping done.