Be careful when shopping

DOWNEY - Many students and teens embrace this time of year for their much anticipated winter break, shopping and simply hanging out with friends, but something new has been steadily increasing and putting dampers on many teens' festivities- car theft and burglary.The holidays are a time that many shoppers flood to their local malls and snag the deals while enjoying the ambiance, especially students. Many young drivers in the Downey and surrounding areas make Stonewood Center their hangout and hub during the holidays, and for good reason, however due to an increase in car theft many drivers should be wary. According to a report published by CBS Los Angeles, Stonewood Center ranked second in car thefts for the month of September with 83 total, and came in at spot 11 in burglaries with a whopping 43. While these results do come off as slightly distressing at first, it is settling to know that Stonewood Center security and operations is taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure cars and property are as safe as they can be. "We take security of our guests and mall employees seriously every day, and Stonewood Center strives to create a safe, enjoyable shopping environment," said Stonewood Center Marketing Manager Brian Malony. "Although we cannot provide specific tactics, we can tell you that along with our local law enforcement agencies, we continually monitor and adjust our operations in order to provide a safe and comfortable shopping experience. We encourage shoppers and mall employees to be vigilant in their observations, and report any unusual activity to the local law enforcement agencies or our on-site Security department. "We encourage our guests to take simple, preventive steps to ensure the security of their vehicles, whether parked at their community shopping centers or in their driveway,." said Brian Malony. He went on to give some great tips to holiday shoppers who may be concerned. •Park in well-lit areas. •Be aware of your surroundings. •Report anything suspicious and avoid suspicious looking people. •Lock all doors and keep windows closed completely. •Never leave the car running attended - not even for a minute. •Remove all items from the car or hide them from view. So this holiday season, of course have fun and be merry - but always be on the lookout and keep an eye on your car - because somebody else might be.

********** Published: December 2, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 33