Law enforcement officers across the state are urging Nebraskans to be cautious this holiday season and offering tips on ways to stay safe.
The Grand Island Police Department offers these tips for safe shopping:
- Always be aware of your surrounds. Officials say careless or unaware shoppers are easy targets. Don't talk on your cell phone when walking in or out of a store as this may take your focus away from a suspicious person.
- Make a note of where you parked your car, and always park in a well-lit and well-traveled area.
- Have your keys ready and in hand when approaching your vehicle.
- Keep purchased items out of sight -- in the trunk is best. Keep other valuable items out of sight as well, such as a purse, phone, GPS or other items.
- Keep your vehicle locked at all times -- even when you are driving down the road.
- Don't resist if someone tries to take any of your things. Carry only credit cards you need and don't carry large amounts of cash. Call police if someone tries to take your belongings or money.
Authorities also advise keeping the doors and windows at your home locked at all times as well as lights on both inside and outside when out after dark.
Individuals traveling over the holiday season who will be gone for several days should make arrangements to have someone pick up your mail and newspapers, or put a stop on your service.
The Nebraska State Patrol is asking drivers to follow traffic safety laws as part of their "Be Here for the Holidays" initiative.
"Holiday driving often involves changing weather conditions and increased traffic," said Colonel David Sankey, superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. "By publicizing our enforcement efforts, we hope to help reduce the potential for serious injury and fatality crashes."
The agency is asking drivers to voluntarily comply with the rules of the road as a way to reduce accidents, especially roadside fatalities. This is especially important as the roads fill up with people traveling to holiday get togethers, especially those that involve alcohol.
Times and locations of selected NSP traffic enforcement efforts will be posted on the NSP Enforcement Activities calendar as a way to encourage voluntary compliance.
Sankey added, "Join the State Patrol family in helping to make this holiday season safe for your family, never drive impaired or distracted and always wear your seat belt."