For Immediate Release
PR #:1800118
Date Issued:Nov 19, 2018 - 12:00pm

Washoe County Sheriff's Office offers twelve tips for holiday shopping safety

CONTACT:Brooke Howard Division Manager-Community Engagement Office 775-785-6205

Black Friday is just days away. As the excitement of the holiday shopping season builds, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office reminds residents to stay focused on personal safety. Here are some tips to keep in mind before heading out to the stores:

First and foremost, stay alert. Do not get so caught up in the shopping frenzy that you lose awareness of your surroundings. Report suspicious activity to law enforcement or store security. 

Winter weather is possible for Black Friday and the weekend. Use extra caution while driving, dress appropriately and be prepared for cold and icy conditions.

  • Avoid shopping alone; there is added safety when shopping with a companion.
  • Always lock vehicles and keep valuables out of sight, preferably in the trunk or locked compartment.
  • Before sunrise and after sunset, park and walk in well-lit areas.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings. Take time to look around for possible suspicious persons, vehicles, and/or situations.
  • When in crowded places, be alert for potential thieves. Don’t overload yourself with packages. Maintain visibility and mobility to avoid potential threats.
  • Be wary of unsolicited phone calls. The holiday season is notorious for con-artists who use this "season of giving" to take advantage of your kindness.
  • When possible, avoid carrying large amount of cash and valuables, and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • When using the new “chip” credit cards, make sure they have not been left in the card reader before leaving the checkout counter.
  • Keep close track of all your personal belongings and never leave them unattended.
  • Keep a record of all your credit card numbers in a secure place at home.
  • When shopping with children, keep a close eye on them at all times. Consider coaching them to go to a store clerk or security guard if they become separated and be sure they know their first and last name so they can advise someone who they are.
  • Give children a contact phone number that they can carry on their person in case they do become lost.

More safety tips are available from the Sheriff’s Office by visiting the Staying Safe page at


The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.

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