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Shop smart and safe, Tampa police urge

TAMPA — Police are taking to the malls.

They'll be on horseback, motorcycle and unmarked cars.

Starting Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., dozens of Tampa police officers will begin patrolling International Plaza, Westshore Plaza and the Dale Mabry Boulevard shopping corridor in anticipation of an uptick in holiday-related property crime, including car burglaries.

Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis offered these tips to holiday shoppers:

• Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you. If you see people hanging around parking garages, parking lots, or outside stores, avoid the area.

• If possible, shop before dark. Coordinate shopping trips with a friend if you plan to be out late. Park in well-lit areas.

• Lock your car doors and windows, even if you are going to be gone a few minutes.

• Keep packages and other valuables out of public view.

• Park near streetlights and have keep your keys in hand when you return to your car.

• Don't overburden yourself with packages.

• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with checks or credit cards.

• Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse with the strap across your body. Keep your wallet inside a jacket pocket.

• Tell your children to go to a store clerk or security guard for help if they become separated.

Shop smart and safe, Tampa police urge 11/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:26am]
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