Area police departments offer these common-sense tips to protect yourself from theft around the holidays:
* Look for well-lighted parking lots.
* Lock your car. Try not to leave any packages inside, even in the trunk.
* If you find yourself carrying heavy packages in a shopping area, try to arrange to leave them at a store's layaway counter or with a clerk until you finish.
* Have your keys ready before going to your car so you don't have to fumble for them at the car door.