The RCMP advises shoppers to be alert to theft.

The RCMP advises shoppers to be alert to theft.

Watch out for grinches

There are those among us who use the season of giving as an opportunity for taking.

We want to think the best of everyone at this time of year, but there are those among us who use the season of giving as an opportunity for taking.

So the RCMP are cautioning shoppers in particular to be aware, and to take a few simple precautions that will help keep the holidays happy:

gifts, valuables and even small change should never be left in plain view in vehicles;

when in food courts or paying for purchases, never leave parcels, purses, backpacks, or phones unattended for any period of time;

• do not throw your receipts in the trash, keep all receipts or, if they are not needed, shred them;

• cover your PIN when using your debit card or credit card to protect against ‘shoulder surfers’;

• pickpockets are active, keep purses close to your body and zipped, men should be weary of leaving wallets in back pockets;

• keep doors and windows to your home or apartment locked at all times.

Report suspicious activity immediately, the person you see checking vehicles on your street, may have already broken into dozens of other cars,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.  “Your call may put a stop to it.”

For more tips to keep you and your belongings safe this holiday season, go to goo.gl/xLFqv0