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TUCKER, Ga. -- DeKalb County police say Georgians can take several steps to avoid becoming a crime victim during the holiday shopping season.

Police say consumers should avoid shopping alone and should make sure valuables left in their vehicles are stored out of sight.

Department spokeswoman Mekka Parish says shoppers should avoid talking on cellphones and sending text messages while walking to and from their vehicles. Shoppers should also be ready to immediately get into their vehicles instead of pausing to find the keys.

Parish says shoppers should avoid carrying large cash amounts and only carry credit cards they plan on using.

Parish says shoppers who leave a store to put gifts in their trunks and plan to continue shopping should move their cars to a different parking spot before going back inside.