Safety tips for holiday shopping season

HICKSVILLE, Long Island (WABC) -- They may not be reindeer, but mounted officers will be ushering in the holiday season in Nassau County.

Their view from about 14 feet up is enough to spot suspicious activity from afar. There will also be scores of both uniformed officers and plainclothes officers, who Eyewitness News rode along with on Thursday at the Broadway Commons Mall.

"Well, a normal person won't walk up to a vehicle and glance into the car, they'll just walk up to it and open the door," said Nassau County Police Officer Chris Lovelace.

'Tis the season to be victimized - and it is important to not tempt thieves by leaving valuables in open view inside your car.

It is important to keep in mind that stolen vehicles are also a problem - up to nine percent in Nassau County this year over last. Police say 97 percent of the cases with stolen vehicles, the owner is at fault for leaving the key fob in the car.

And it gets worse - like one car owner who left a Volkswagen invoice out in full view with ID and information all over it. Another more common problem is carrying lots of shopping bags while you are distracted on your cellphone.

"Keep your eyes open, ears open - don't be walking around blindly," says shipper Gassem Miles.

Inside the mall, police were also on hand giving out safety tips.

Not to mention the most important safety tip of all - remember to put your kids in the car before all of the bags.

"I mean there's a lot of cars and people - you just want to make sure they're out of the way," says Min Chang.

Because a child's safety is priceless.

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