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      Holiday Shopping: Consumer Safety

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      It's that time of year where shopping becomes an essential, but it could also be a time where shopping turns into a nightmare before Christmas.
      "If the opportunity presents itself, then someone may take advantage of it. If you leave merchandise in your car, or purse in a cart, then that may get taken advantage of," said Dawn Bickford, executive team leader for Kearney's Target.
      Officials say the top mistakes that leads to holiday theft includes leaving your purse or wallet unattended while shopping, placing items in plain sight in your car, or parking in a non-safe zone. They also add getting into a "certain" mindset may put you in harms way.
      "Don't get caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle. Let it be in the back of your mind that you need to be careful when you're out there shopping. Granted it's a fun time shopping, but keep in mind what's out there and what the dangers are," said Tracy Suchsland, street officer for Kearney Police Department.
      Experts call it the crime of opportunity-- meaning if thieves can see it, it is an easy target. Officials suggest that when you are finished shopping, put all of your items in your trunk, and never make multiple trips to your car.
      "Everybody is thinking about other things, and not thinking about what possibilities are out there as far as opportunities they're giving thieves," said Suchsland.

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