It's the holiday season! Which means a joyous time for many but, unfortunately, an opportunistic time for thieves.

Lafayette Police spokesman Corporal Karl Ratcliffe stopped by the KPEL studios to discuss holiday safety tips his department wants you to keep in mind as you shop - both at the stores and at home.


  • Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
  • Shop with a friend, there is safety in numbers.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Pay for purchases with credit or debit card.
  • If possible, carry only your driver’s license or necessary credit or debit cards.
  • If you must carry a purse, do not wrap the straps around your arms or shoulders.
  • Carry a clutch purse tightly under your arm or wear a fanny pack.
  • Do not carry a wallet in a back pocket. It should be placed in a front pocket of your pants for safety.
  • Be alert that thieves look for the “high dollar” shopping bags with your purchases.
  • When possible, slip bags/purchases in a plain nondescript bag.
  • Educate your children about what to do if they are lost or separated.
  • Don’t overburden yourself with too many packages. make a trip to drop items at home if you must.
  • Have your car keys ready in hand before leaving the store.
  • If you do return to your vehicle to unload purchases, place them in the trunk of the vehicle.
  • Try not to shop until the store closes. Remember, fewer people are present at this time.
  • Shop Online if Possible!
  • Lock your vehicle when you enter the store!


  • Shop early and leave early to avoid evening darkness.
  • Park in a high visibility area and check for lighting in case you leave during hours of darkness.
  • Prior to arriving at the shopping center, lock all your valuables in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • Leave the store with others, not alone.
  • Ask security to escort you to your vehicle if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Walk briskly, confidently, and directly through the parking lot. Be cautious of people handing out fliers or asking questions in the parking area.
  • Watch for people who may be following you. This can occur inside as well as outside. If you suspect someone following you, report it to security immediately.


  • Keep the outside of your home well lit with doors locked and window curtains closed.
  • Don’t display gifts beneath the Christmas tree that can be seen from windows or doors.
  • After the holidays, don’t advertise gifts received by the boxes left for the garbage collection. Destroy boxes and place in a sealed, non-clear garbage bag.
  • Remove Valuable items from your vehicle at night including firearms and electronics
  • Lock Your Vehicles!!