Safety experts including police are encouraging those shopping during the holiday season to be careful. The holiday season is a time when busy people can become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. Illinois State Police Trooper Mike Link says criminals pick their victims by sizing up the potential risk vs. reward.

So, he suggests when you are out in public, look like you are in charge.

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He goes on to say when returning to your car if you see someone suspicious, turn around and go back in the store. Look for someone hiding in your car when you return to it. And load your car, get in and leave. If you have your head down balancing your check book, for instance, you are vulnerable at that point.