Each year during the holidays, thieves look for the perfect gift with a five finger discount.
But Dothan Police Department officials say there are ways to avoid becoming a victim.
"Holiday is in the air as the spirit of shopping and getting out and about is about to begin very strongly with Black Friday quickly approaching. We just want to remind everybody to take a few moments and plan your shopping route in advance."
Shoppers trying to get that last minute gift often get in a hurry, sometimes forgetting to lock their car doors or secure their packages.
"Remember safety with vehicles whether you're in or out of them, keeping packages, boxes and things in the trunk or underneath something so that they are not easily seen."
Police say common sense can be the best weapon against criminals.
Simple steps like parking under a light and shopping with a friend can reduce your chances of becoming a victim.
“Ensure you have parked near a well lit area of the parking lot. We encourage you to shop with a friend so regardless of when you're coming and going you're always with somebody."
When in a store, police say pay close attention to what you are doing.
Never leave your purse, wallet or shopping bag on the ground or in an cart unattended.
"You don't want to get so hurried or busy that you set down your wallet or your shopping bags. These things can be easily left behind."
"Police say these tips may seem simple. but forgetting to follow these tips could make things just as simple for thieves this holiday season."