With Christmas upon us, we can expect long lines in stores and congested traffic as people scurry about to pick up those last minute gifts.

We can also expect those who would rather rob someone and take off with money that doesn’t belong to them to be quite active this week. That’s just a reality of what we in law enforcement deal with every holiday season.

We have a crime suppression team that’s out crisscrossing the county every night during the holidays to keep an eye out for such activity and to proactively take steps to reduce these crimes. In the same way, you can do some things that will ward cut your risk of being a robbery victim.

Always be aware of your surroundings. When you get out of your car at a store, look around and be on alert for any people or vehicles that look out of place or otherwise suspicious.

When you get back to your car, take a look under and around it to make sure no one is hiding. Before you get into your car, look on the floor and in the back seat to be sure nobody’s gotten inside.

After you’ve gotten into your car, lock the doors and roll up the windows. It’s a good idea to put your purse, newly-purchased items and any other valuables on the floor. If they’re on the seat, they might prove too tempting to someone who might catch a glimpse of them at a red light.