By Valencia Jones

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Crime tends to increase during the holidays, as shoppers get out to make their Christmas purchases. Atlanta police share how to stay safe while shopping.

Some Christmas shoppers say certain things are more important right now than worrying about crime.   “[I’m] Just making sure I have my mask on, first and foremost, hand sanitizer and social distancing,” said Yvette Beasley, who was shopping at Target with her daughter, Milan Beasley.

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Milan and countless others say their keeping their eyes open. “If you have an elder parent like I do, don’t let them go by themselves,” she said. “I just watch my surroundings and I make sure that I lock my car,” said Judith Bartel, another shopper.

It’s exactly what Atlanta police say you should do. “Some of the crime that we see around the holidays are theft-related crimes,” said Atlanta Police Public Information Officer Sergeant John Chafee. “While we’re out there shopping, so are the criminals.”

Officer investigate packages stolen from porches and vehicle break-ins all too often. “We would recommend that you never leave items in your car while your vehicle is unattended. It’s very easy to break into a vehicle,” Chafee said.

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If you order some things online, he says have them sent to a safe location, like a store or to a home where someone is there during the day.

Also, police recommend watching out for slider crimes that can happen when you leave your cars running or doors unlocked, especially at gas stations. “Someone will basically slide into the seat and take off with the vehicle or slide into a passenger seat and take items from the vehicle,” he said.

Officers are urging everyone to be aware of their surroundings, and if you see something suspicious, call the police. “We want to remind you to just pay attention to what’s going on around you,” said Chafee.

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And whatever you do, don’t let thieves steal your holiday spirit.