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      Holiday shopping safety guide for Albany

      "As you get close to the holidays, it TMs hectic. There TMs so many people that are around, out in the mall. So you have to be real careful about your surroundings."

      Veronica Anthony is one shopper that already has the first rule of safe holiday shopping covered " be aware of your surroundings.

      And that kind of simple, common sense approach can go a long way in making sure your shopping experience is filled with cheer, not fear.

      "Make sure your driver TMs license, your checking account, your credit cards are concealed in your purse and zipped up," said Capt. Reginald Brown of the Albany Police Department..

      The way a woman carries her purse makes a big difference.

      "I would suggest underneath their armpits, close to their body," said Brown.

      Once you TMve found those perfect gifts, make sure they TMre secure.

      "If you have packages, put them in a location that can TMt be out in the open " concealed," said Brown. "And make sure your doors and windows are locked."

      One of the differences in holiday shopping is that many stores will be extending their store hours. Shoppers need to take extra precautions if they plan on arriving early when it TMs still dark.

      "Always park in lighted areas and use the buddy system," said Brown. "Have a partner. That way, you TMre looking out for your partner and they TMre looking out for you."

      And always have your keys ready and stay off your cell phone when walking to your car.