Holiday shopping safety tips to remember this season

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. The use of online shopping and browsing story aisles to find the perfect gift for family and friends can quickly become a dangerous time.

Cyber Monday is expanding more and more into December while holiday deals aren't just on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday. Online deliveries are showing up on doorsteps and left unattended for hours, which gives thieves the perfect opportunity to do their own version of holiday shopping.

"Try to either make arrangements where you can monitor the tracking so that when it arrives at your home, you can do there shortly after to retrieve the package," says Sgt. Sean Kooistra with the Sioux Falls Police Department.

Sgt. Kooistra also suggests to send the packages to a residence of someone you know that will be home or your work address. These are guaranteed ways you'll receive your Christmas gifts this year. This type of crime is difficult to investigate without a witness, but the police department can increase patrols to look for any suspicious activity in the area.

While shopping small business or big retailor, it's important to be aware. With the amount of traffic found in these areas, it's easier for those who pickpocket to find your cellphone or wallet without you noticing.

"Even if their intent isn't to grab an item in the parking lot at the time, sometimes that temptation can be a little too much for people and they'll want to grab it on their own," explains Sgt. Kooistra.

Paying attention to your surroundings is also important, including when you're loading up your vehicle. This could prevent someone from coming up behind and stealing your things. Keeping your presents in the trunk of your vehicle can help resist anyone from breaking in.

The Sioux Falls Police Department wants everyone to enjoy this time of season, but to be as aware as possible. They don't believe people should be paranoid and are available if anything out of the ordinary happens.