Safe shopping tips offered

STEUBENVILLE – The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department will kick off the annual Holiday Safety program Friday.

Sheriff Fred Abdalla will provide patrols at the Fort Steuben Mall area, the Wal-Mart area, Kmart Shopping Plaza and the Hollywood City Center from Friday through Dec. 26.

“The purpose of the Holiday Safety program is three-fold. We want to provide safety for all holiday shoppers, especially women and senior citizens. We are ready to assist stranded shoppers who are having automobile problems. And we make an all-out effort to cite handicapped parking violators,” said Abdalla.

“Shoppers should be very careful about flashing a lot of cash. Don’t count your money while walking away from the teller’s window at a bank. And always park in a well lighted area if at all possible,” the sheriff advised.

“Additional safe shopping tips include not loading yourself down with packages. You can become easy prey and can’t defend yourself. If you put your packages in your vehicle, always lock them in the trunk and out of sight. Have your car keys in your hand when you are walking to your car. And if you are driving a truck, place all of your packages behind the seat and out of sight,” urged Abdalla.

“This is a special time of the year. Unfortunately there are a few people who look for an easy way to obtain something that belongs to someone else. Use caution when shopping,” Abdalla said.