Beginning this week and continuing through New Year’s Day, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will have stepped-up patrols throughout the Qcity.

Using more than $80,000 from a federal grant, CMPD will add officers throughout its jurisdiction, but especially in high-volume shopping areas — malls, shopping centers and big-box retailers.

The department said officers will pay special attention to known and repeat offenders. Undercover officers will be on the lookout for criminal activity and suspicious behavior, including shoplifting and larceny from autos. The department also will use its Sky Watch Towers.

To keep residents safe, CMPD offers these tips:

Safety While Shopping

1. Pay with checks or credit cards when possible. Don’t flash large amounts of cash.

2. Don’t leave any purchases or your purse unattended while shopping or in a dressing room.

3. Try to carry as little as possible. Make multiple trips to your vehicle to store your purchases.

4. Never leave your children alone.

5. If your children get separated from you, teach them to find a cashier or a security officer and ask for help.

6. Report all suspicious activity. Call 911 with a description.

Safety in the Parking Lots

1. Park and walk in well-lit areas.

2. Walk with confidence, be aware of people around you and know where you parked.

3. Always lock your car doors after leaving or entering your car.

4. Have your keys in your hand so that you don’t have to linger before entering your car. Check the back seat before you get in.

5. Don’t leave packages on the car seats. Keep packages out of sight in the trunk or under a covered rear cargo area.

Home Holiday Safety

1. Make sure your home is well lit. Turn on outside lights, spotlights, motions lights, etc. Leave several lights on timers while you are away to give your home that lived-in look.

2. Keep all shrubbery trimmed. Do not allow shrubbery to conceal windows or doors.

3. Remove anything a burglar could climb up on to gain entry or use to knock out a window or door; items such as ladders, tools, tables, and chairs.

4. All exterior doors should be solid, rather than hollow core.

5. Don’t leave the garage doors open, even while you are home or while you are doing yard work.

6. Use a deadbolt lock to secure your doors. A good deadbolt should have a 1” throw. If you have glass within 40” of the lock, a burglar could reach in and unlock the door. A double cylinder lock (this type needs a key on both sides to unlock) should be used if glass is near the lock.

7. If you are going away, contact a trusted neighbor or friend to pick up your mail, newspaper and other delivered items.

8. Try not to leave gifts in open view. This is an invitation to burglars.

9. Don’t advertise new gifts or purchases. Break up cartons before leaving them at the curb or dispose of them another way the morning of trash pick up.

10. Don’t forget to engrave new gifts or purchases with your driver’s license number.

11. Don’t open your door to strangers. Be wary of solicitors and salespersons. If a stranger asks to use your telephone, tell them to stay outside, lock the door behind you and make the call for them. Never let a stranger inside your home.

12. Don’t give any information about yourself or your neighbors to a stranger.

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