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How to stop thieves stealing Christmas

A car thief.

Unfortunately, it isn't just Scrooge or the Grinch who are intent on ruining Christmas.

Thieves are constantly on the lookout for opportunities and Christmas shoppers can provide easy pickings.

With thoughts of mince pies, Christmas parties and what to get your nan, Christmas shoppers can often be less vigilant with car safety as they get swept up in festivities.

According to AA statistics, around a fifth of car break-ins happen during the festive period, with thieves making away with newly bought Christmas presents.

Don't forget to stay vigilant when unloading your presents from your car when you get home, especially if you live on a city street. Annoying as it may be, make sure to lock your car every time you go back into the house.

To keep your Christmas presents safe while shopping, follow these tips:

  • Always make sure your shopping bags are out of sight by locking them in the boot. Never leave them in plain view on the seats.
  • High value items are the most sought after so leave these until last so they aren't left unattended. You can always ask retailers if you can collect your items later, that way you'll avoid lots of to-ing and froing to the car park which attract the attention of a potential thief.
  • Park in a well-lit space in a public car park, the busier, the better. The risk of having your goods stolen isn't worth saving a few pounds by parking unattended in a side street.
  • If possible, try and park within sight of a CCTV camera in the car park.
  • Always lock your car and reset your car alarm when you leave your car.
  • Report any suspicious activity immediately to shopping centre security.
  • Head home once you've finished your shopping, no matter how tempting it might be to treat yourself to a coffee or a bite to eat.
  • Keep your keys secure, either in a closed handbag or in a deep pocket. Keys displaying the brand on the fob make it easier for thieves to find your car.