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Finishing up holiday shopping? Here's how you can keep safe.

Being aware of your surroundings inside and outside of the stores is key to playing it safe while finishing up your holiday shopping.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Just like receiving gifts has become a holiday tradition, so has shopping for those gifts.

Year after year, millions of people wait until the weekend before the holidays to shop, here's how you can keep safe:

"If you're going to be out and about, you're going shopping, you know don't don't take every credit card every you know don't take big bills with you," said Madison County Sheriff Office's Public Information Officer, Brent Patterson. 

So, it's not wise to bring a wallet full of cards and cash but it is wise to shop with others.

"Make sure you're with somebody make sure that you're not at late at night," said Patterson. 

Beyond the stores, you should also play it safe in the parking lots and driveways.

"It's always important to make sure that you don't leave valuables in plain sight in your car. Try to cover your packages if you don't have a trunk, if so, keep them in your truck," said Huntsville Police Department Lieutenant Tony McElyea.

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"When you're at home at night, make sure you lock your vehicles. Never leave a handgun, purses, credit cards anything of value in a vehicle," said Patterson.

You must also keep an eye out around your home, especially when talking about packages.

"Nowadays, you know these criminals, that we like to call them, they know your schedule better than you do. And with that being said, when you leave or you go somewhere, make sure you put your packages up and when they're delivered, make sure that you have an alternative plan to make sure that they're safe," said Patterson. 

"Try to time it out where you're home when the package is delivered. If you know your neighbors' lookout for those packages and tell them that you have one that's supposed to show up on that day and see if they can grab it for you so you can get it when you do get home," said McElyea.

This one is not so much of a tip, more of a statement but: 

Local law enforcement wants you to know that they are there to protect and serve you.

"Right now, during this time of year, during the Christmas holidays, we always have officers who come into work extra hours, to patrol those parking lots, to make sure that we're keeping shoppers safe," said McElyea.

"If you're at the mall, understand that there is law enforcement working until the businesses close. If you're scared- if you walk up and ask these officers 'will you walk me to my car,' they will do that. That's why we're there," said Patterson.

RELATED: 'Get Your Gift On' to shop and save locally!