KPD offers tips to protect shoppers from car burglaries

With Thanksgiving weekend the busiest time for Christmas shoppers, it is also a time when burglars can be at their busiest, prowling store parking lots in search of a real steal.

Kingman Police Department officials are warning shoppers who leave their purchases in their car to hide the bags from view and make sure all the vehicle's doors are locked, KPD spokeswoman Tracie McKnight said.

"We recommend locking presents in the trunk," McKnight said.

"It's also important to double-check locking your car.

Even going into a convenience store for a few minutes.

It only takes a few seconds to steal something out of a car."

Sport-utility vehicles are more susceptible to burglaries because of their large windows, she said.

Instead of leaving packages in the car while shopping at another store, shoppers should consider taking their purchases home before the continuing their shopping, she said.

McKnight said the majority of burglaries occur to unlocked cars.

Thieves will check a vehicle's door and most likely move on until they find an unlocked car.

Only rarely will a thief smash a car's window, she said.

Burglars usually strike at night at the point in the parking lots furthest away from the store and from overhead lights.

If needed shoppers, should check with the store security if they need assistance carrying their purchases to a vehicle - especially at night.

Shoppers should also be aware of their surroundings - again, especially at night - when placing packages in their cars.

They should have their keys ready when they approach their cars, ready to drive away.

If needed, keys can be used as a weapon, McKnight said.

McKnight also encourages drivers to park in well-lighted areas or as close to the store as possible.

It is also advisable to park near other cars, she said.

KPD will have cruisers patrolling parking lots of the major department stores in Kingman during the busy holiday season, McKnight said.