KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The holiday shopping season may be about the presents but it’s also about security, and shopper John Smith is taking precautions.
"We try to do our shopping in the daylight hours so we cannot be out here overnight," Smith said.
That’s just one safety measure Smith tells WSAZ.com he takes to avoid falling victim to thieves.
"Keep your hands on your wallet and put your wallet and stuff in your front pocket -- and I'd advise anybody to do that -- because there's too many pick-pockets out there and stuff today," said Smith.
Other than watching your back, there are other tips to protect your valuables.
Police say thieves lurk around parking lots and parking garages, so keep presents out of sight when they’re in your car and keep your cash and credit cards safely hidden.
"Make sure that they are very discreet with their payments when they make purchases -- don't flash around a lot of cash or credit cards," Lisa McCracken of Charleston Town Center said.
While security is keeping an eye out for shoplifters and other criminals, also know that guards are there to help you.
"We increase and double our security team and bring in police officers -- on-duty police officers and off-duty uniformed police officers," said McCracken.
Most importantly: be observant – know who is around you and if you ever feel uncomfortable, talk to a store employee immediately.
"There's too many people that will steal and stuff this time of year," Smith said.