RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As shoppers continue to pack retail stores throughout the Triangle, Raleigh police are offering tips to stay safe.
"First and foremost, have a plan. Stick to your plan. I can't overemphasize that. Once you fill up your car, take it home. If you leave it out, you set yourself up for becoming a victim of a crime," explained Raleigh Police Senior Officer Charles Christopher Taylor.
Taylor notes larceny from a motor vehicle is the most common crime in the United States.
"Empty your car. Make multiple trips. It can be overwhelming, but it's the things that are going to keep you safe," explained Taylor.
Authorities advise people to park in well-lit areas, be aware of their surroundings, and be patient.
"So as you can see my pocketbook's across my chest, and then I look around," said Elizabeth Cintron, who was shopping on Saturday afternoon.
Data collected by the National Insurance Crime Bureau found there were more than 1,900 reported stolen vehicles on Christmas Eve last year, and nearly 1,500 more the next day. The holiday with the highest number of reports - New Year's Day, with more than 2,500 incidents.
With many people opting for home deliveries, Officer Taylor encouraged people to call police if they notice suspicious activity in their neighborhood. National Neighborhood Watch suggested having packages shipped to your place of work if nobody will be home to receive them.
Raleigh Police share holiday shopping safety tips