Finish holiday shopping safely

Have you ever left your car door unlocked while you ran an errand?

Quincy Police say that is one of the most obvious ways shoppers can protect themselves from a car break-in.

While rushed shoppers pack their cars with last minute purchases, it is important that they do not forget about securing those purchases.

A car packed with gifts, or a visible purse makes an easy target for burglars.

"It's very easy, someone can just smash a window and grab an item and take off," Quincy Police Officer Kelly Vandermaiden said.

The last thing anyone wants to find this Christmas season, is a broken window or busted lock on their car. Susan Spoon, a Tri-States shopper learned this lesson when she saw a family member deal with it.

"My sister-in-law did at one point...Again there were things seen in the seat and that made the person think they could go ahead and rob their vehicle," Spoon said.

Because she knows just how easy it is to be a victim of a car break-in, Spoon goes through steps to protect her purchases.

"I hide them in the car. I either have a blanket or something like that, but I never leave my purse or anything exposed so if you look into the car, you won't see anything actually," she explained.

Quincy Police Officer Kelly Vandermaiden says that oftentimes, people forget the easy steps they can take to ward off a theft.

"Definitely the easiest way to keep your belongings protected is just to lock your vehicle and just make sure there are no valuables in plain sight," Vandermaiden said.

That includes the change left in center console and the purse or wallet tossed in the passenger seat. Shoppers walking to their cars after dark should have keys out and ready so they can pay attention to their surroundings.

Vandermaiden says on rare occasions, stolen items are recovered, but most purchases are virtually impossible to recover.

For more information on shopping online safely, click here.