A reminder from Gadsden Police about how you can avoid becoming a victim during this busy holiday shopping season. Sargent John Hallman says there are many things that you can do to protect yourself and your belongings while out and about, but there's one thing that easy to do. Police also remind you not to leave anything valuable in plain sight. While shopping, it is important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Park in a plainly visible area. Try to avoid shopping alone. Be cautious of strangers approaching you and have your keys out before you get to your car. Thieves also target more homes during the holidays. Police warn that you should not have gifts visible from outside your home. You should also avoid leaving boxes from purchases on the curb, like television or gaming system boxes. Also, be sure to lock your doors and windows. When you do leave your home, turn on a light or television to make it appear as if someone is there.