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Watch Out For Holiday Grinches

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Sonora, CA – In these final frantic last dash days of looking for the perfect Christmas gifts, make sure to protect yourself.

Sonora Police offer these holiday shopping tips:

Keep your valuables out of sight.
Lock your home and vehicles.
Use well-lit areas to your advantage.
Don’t leave or place your purse, wallet, bag, or keys in a shopping cart. Keep them close at all times.

Calaveras County Sheriff’s office provides some additional shopping guidance along with some home safety tips:


  • Pay Attention to your surroundings and watch for warning signs while shopping. If you feel you are being followed, find a well-lit and populated area. Call for help and make note of the person (and their license plate if they are driving).
  • Go holiday shopping with friends or family. Walking in pairs may help deter criminals.
  • Keep children safe: Have a plan in place that the child knows. Teach children that if they become lost they are to find a security guard or go to the checkout counter for help. Practice this while you are out shopping by asking your kids to point when they see a security officer or others who would be safe to ask for help.
  • Hide your gifts: Thieves are just as excited as you are to bring home all of the presents that you purchased. Hide your shopping bags in the trunk or out of sight. It does not take long for a thief to take your items and leave damage to your vehicle behind.
  • In the event that your purse or wallet is stolen, record credit card assistance numbers in your cell phone and in a safe place at home. Never record account numbers or other personal information in your cell in the event of your cell phone is lost or stolen.
    • MasterCard: 1-800-MC-ASSIST (622-7747)
    • Visa: 1-800-VISA-911 (847-2911)
    • American Express: 1-800-528-4800
    • Discover: 1-800-DISCOVER (347-2683)
    • PayPal: 1-888-221-1161


  • Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work.
  • Be extra careful about locking doors and windows when you leave home.
  • Do not openly display gifts in front of windows.
  • Ask someone to pick up your mail or newspaper if you will be gone for longer periods.
  • Do not hide the spare key in obvious places: under doormats, rocks, flowerpots and above the door.
  • Inspect holiday light strings and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections. When replacing bulbs, unplug the light string and be sure to match voltage and wattage to the original bulb.
  • Always turn off holiday lights when you leave the house unattended or when going to bed.
  • Try to purchase a freshly cut tree, as they are more resistant to ignition. Keep your Christmas tree watered and away from open candles. Have a fire extinguisher near and know how to use it.
  • Avoid connecting more than one extension cord together; instead, use a single cord that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can get easily tangled.
  • You are the best eyes and ears of your neighborhood. Call and report suspicious activity as soon as possible.