Police warn of thieves shopping while you’re out shopping

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LEE COUNTY, Fla. – During the holiday season, police have reminded shoppers to take extra precautions while shopping at stores or online.

Cape Coral police Sgt. Dana Coston told WINK News one common crime this time of year is car burglaries. Coston said 90-percent of car burglaries reported in the city involve cars with unlocked doors.

“Thieves that are out there want to work fast, and they want to work quickly,” he said. “What people tend to do is they go to the stores and they forget that they have packages. Or worse yet, they’ll buy their packages for loved ones and they’ll leave them in the car to hide them. They’ll forget about locking the car because it’s not something they’re in the habit of doing on a normal basis anyway, and then they come out and find that they’re packages have been taken.”

Coston said people need to hide all valuables including shopping bags, purses, electronics and money left in cars. He also recommended people park in a well-lit section of the parking lot.

Another common crime this time of year is having packages stolen from your front door. Coston recommended shoppers have packages delivered only when your home or sent to a neighbor’s home. Also, he recommended shoppers opt for tracking and insurance on the item, just in case.

Finally, police recommend if you are shopping online, pay with a credit card or re-loadable gift card. Sgt. Coston said it is easier to dispute credit card charges if your card information is somehow stolen, and make sure all transactions are done while on a private network, not public WiFi.

“Keep in mind, that if you’re using public WiFi, that your passwords, your credit card information, these are things that you are transmitting on a broadly shared network and you never know who is listening in on that network traffic.”


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