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Be aware of your surroundings. Look around, up ahead, and behind you before entering or exiting the safety and security of your vehicle or shopping mall.
Park in well lit, highly visible, and heavily trafficked areas of a parking lot or parking garage. Always try to park as close as you can to an entry or exit door of the shopping mall.
Be sure to lock your car! Double check that all car doors are locked and that the windows are rolled all the way up before you leave your car unattended. Engage your car's audible alarm system, if equipped.
When shopping at night, try to avoid going alone. Bring a friend or family member to come shopping with you.
Teach your children to immediately go to an information desk, a front counter, or to try to find a store clerk, a security guard, or a law enforcement officer to help them in the event that they should ever become lost or separated from you while shopping.
Be mindful of your purses and wallets. Keep purses held tight under your arm, not hanging off your shoulder or in a shopping cart. Keep wallets in an inside jacket pocket or front pants pocket.
Avoid carrying excessive amounts of cash or credit cards. Take only what you need for your purchases. Keep the records and card numbers of all of your credit cards in a secure location, should you ever need them to report them lost or stolen.
Don't overburden yourself when carrying out bags or packages to the car. Always store and secure any items of value, purchases, or packages in the trunk of your car. Keep them out sight!
When leaving the shopping mall, always have your keys in your hand, ready to go. That way you can enter your car as quickly as possible. Also, in the event of an emergency, you can activate you car's audible alarm via the "panic button" on your key chain, if equipped.
&nnbsp;Most importantly, always report any/all suspicious persons, vehicles, or activity you observe immediately to mall security and/or local law enforcement.
Package Theft Prevention Tips:
Individuals looking for crimes of opportunity are at an increase during the holiday season. Thieves have been known to follow delivery trucks and target homes after a delivery has just been made. If you're shopping online, you can reduce the chances of becoming a victim of Package Theft by following these simple tips:
- Have the package delivered to your workplace or to a trusted neighbor or relative who is more likely to be home.
- Choose a shipping option that requires for you to sign for delivery or track the delivery status online, so you can make arrangements to be home when your package arrives. Some retailers and shipping companies even offer text messages to alert you when your package has been delivered.
- Another option would be to ask the shipping company to hold your package for customer pick-up at their local facility.
- If you do not receive your shipment on time, track your package to confirm delivery.
- If your item was delivered, but you didn't receive it, report the theft to the original company, the shipping company, and then the Sheriff's Office.
Always immediately report any/all suspicious behavior in your neighborhood to Non-Emergency Dispatch at (813) 247-8200. In the event of an emergency or a crime-in-progress, please dial 911.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office:
Non-Emergency Dispatch – (813) 247-8200
Sheriff's Office Information – (813) 247-8000
In the event of an emergency, please dial 911!
Theft Prevention Videos: