Milford police are cautioning people to be especially careful this holiday season as shoppers will be especially vulnerable to burglary, theft and other crimes. The Crime Prevention Unit is offering a few tips in order to reduce the chances of you or your family becoming victims of crime.

Protect Yourself

. Have your car keys in hand so you don’t have to linger before entering your car. Check the back seat and under the car before getting in.

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

. Try to plan your shopping trip with other people. Don’t shop alone.

. Walk and park only in well-lighted areas. Always be aware of your surroundings; pay attention to any unusual or suspicious activity or persons and report them.

. Never leave your purchases in plain view in your car. If you have more shopping to do, lock them in the car out of sight.

. Teach children that, should they get separated from you in a shopping mall, they should go to a cashier or security person and say they are lost.

Protect your credit cards:

. Secure a list of all credit cards with their numbers and issuer’s names and phone numbers.

. Don’t carry large amounts of cash. It may be a better choice to use debit cards for purchases.

. Carry a small handbag, just large enough to carry your identification, debit/credit cards and your keys. Remove anything not needed during your shopping trip.

. Notify issuers immediately if your card is lost, stolen or misused.

. Examine monthly statements carefully to ensure they indicate the actual amount charged.

Protect your home:

. Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house.

. Don’t display gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.

. Teach children not to play with tree lights or electrical connections.

. If you go away, put several lights on automatic timers. Have a trusted neighbor watch the house, remove accumulated snow, pick up the mail, and park in the driveway from time to time.