Saturday, March 28, 2020
84 F

Marion sheriff offers tips to keep holiday shoppers safe and packages away from thieves

Christmas shopping can be fun, exciting and exhausting. But above anything else, it always should be safe.

With that in mind, here are a few tips from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to make sure that you stay safe while buying presents this holiday season:

  • Don’t be distracted when leaving the store (texting, talking on the phone, etc.).
  • Remain alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
  • If you see a suspicious person lurking near your vehicle, press the panic button on your remote, then step back into the store and call law enforcement.
  • When you need to put gifts in your vehicle, don’t leave them in the open, visible from the outside. Place them in your trunk or a covered cargo area – out of sight.
  • After putting packages in your vehicle, if you plan to continue shopping move your vehicle to a different parking spot on the other side of the shopping center so it looks like you are leaving.
  • Park under a streetlight if possible, even if it is daylight because it might be dark by the time you return to your vehicle.
  • Park as close to the store’s security cameras as possible.
  • Don’t try to conceal gifts or other valuables on the floorboard behind the front seat.

Those who are shopping online also need to take extra precautions when having packages delivered to their homes. Those include:

  • Track deliveries and make sure someone is at your residence to receive packages when they arrive.
  • Consider requiring a signature for your delivery or have it delivered to your place of employment.
  • Consider installing a camera system like those that replace your doorbell and can record any activity on your porch and send that video directly to your smartphone.
  • Report any suspicious vehicles or activity to law enforcement immediately, including a description and as much information as you can.

Photos in Ocala, Florida

Subscribe for email updates

* indicates required


Number of COVID-19 cases in Marion County jumps to 17 overnight

Seventeen people in Marion County have now tested positive for the Coronavirus after eight more cases were reported overnight.

Ocala Fire Rescue activates paramedic strike team amid COVID-19 outbreak

Ocala Fire Rescue has activated a special strike team to address concerns amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ocklawaha man nabbed after caller reports light being shined into home

An Ocklawaha man found himself behind bars early Saturday morning after a caller reported suspicious activity in a neighborhood and a light being shined inside a home.

Ninth Marion County resident tests positive for COVID-19 virus

A 38-year-old woman from another state is the latest person to test positive for the Coronavirus in Marion County.

Man wanted on warrants nabbed after fleeing from Marion sheriff’s deputies

A man on felony probation who was wanted on outstanding warrants was jailed recently after fleeing from a Marion County sheriff’s deputy..


Ocala businesses shutter doors in wake of COVID-19 fallout

Businesses across the city of Ocala shuttered their doors Friday morning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has ground the nation to a halt. 

The Fiery Chef serving up ‘Ready to Eat Meals’ at new east Ocala location

The Fiery Chef has opened the doors on its new east Ocala location in hopes of serving up "Ready to Eat Meals" to the local community. 

Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar opens new Ocala location at Market Street at Heathbrook

Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar opened the doors on their new Ocala location at Market Street at Heathbrook this week.

Mojo Grill is a must-visit restaurant in Ocala

The Mojo Grill and Catering Company, which has multiple locations throughout Marion, Lake and Sumter counties, is a must-visit restaurant in Ocala.

Epic Theatres opens doors at new Ocala location

Epic Theatres opened the doors on its new Ocala location earlier this month.

More Headlines