Hawai’i Island Police are reminding the public of measures to prevent being victimized during the upcoming holiday season.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic will likely impact shopping activities, consumers must still remain vigilant of their surroundings and activities.
Police advise shoppers against leaving handbags or purses unattended in shopping carts, as being distracted for only a few seconds can provide thieves an opportunity to steal a handbag or purse and its contents. Instead, shoppers should maintain them on their person with the strap placed over their shoulder and bag positioned on the opposing side and with the enclosures zippered or snapped closed.
This also applies when shoppers are transferring items from their shopping cart to their vehicle. Also, if you plan to do more shopping, it is a good practice to conceal your purchases in your vehicle so it doesn’t draw the attention to would-be thieves.
While writing a check for payment, make an effort to conceal your check while writing as it has your account information printed on it.
Police also recommend that while using an ATM to withdraw money or making deposits, make sure you are able to conceal your entering of your PIN (personal identification number) as well as using your body to conceal your screen activities. Additionally, do not display your cash but instead, immediately place them in your bag, wallet, or pocket prior to leaving the ATM. Many ATMs have mirrors that allow users to see individuals behind them and it’s suggested that you use them while using the ATM.