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Dallas police launch holiday safety plan, give tips on how to stay safe shopping this season

Dallas police say shopping started earlier this year with people trying to avoid shipping delays and wanted to get ahead.

DALLAS — The holiday shopping season started earlier this year with people trying to avoid shipping delays.

So, the Dallas Police Department started its holiday safety plan early, too.

"[We're] putting our technology to use by using high towers, cameras and bait cars, those sorts of things, in these areas to make them safer for shoppers during the holidays,” said Deputy Chief Osama Ismail.

Police say people can become a victim of thieves in a matter of seconds. Just like Cyndi Coddle. Video taken from another shopper’s dash camera shows Coddle loading her bags into her car when a thief snatches her purse.

"The minute I stepped and pivoted around the car, the person got out of the car and did sort of a lion creep and grabbed my purse and he was off to Neiman Marcus,” Coddle said.

He charged $10,000 on her cards in less than an hour.

Police say you can be an easy target if you aren't paying attention, like if you're on your phone and distracted. They say to put your phone up and look around you.

"Just pay attentention to what you do when you shop. It goes a long way,” Ismail said.

Here are three more tips from Dallas police you need to know before you hit the stores:

  • Shop with other people so they, too, can keep an eye out 
  • Don't carry too many bags at once; that makes you vulnerable
  • Don't leave anything visible even if you are covering it with a blanket

"When I hide something in my car, I make sure and look around to make sure no one is watching me. Someone can pop the trunk and take your items,” Ismail said.

Some incidents can turn violent. Just last week a man was murdered in the parking lot of a Cosco in North Dallas.

Police say give the robbers what they want and don't resist.

Some of the tips are common sense, but police say it’s easy to forget the little things when we are in a hurry.

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