Keeping the holiday Grinch from ruining your Christmas

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - From this store to that store, many people are running around to get those last minute gifts to put under the Christmas tree. While finding the perfect gift, some people may open themselves up to thieves.

"It a time frame of year which a lot of times people are trying to commit some more crimes, more person crimes against people," Sergeant Chris Coram with the Bay County Sheriff's Office said.

Coram said being aware of your surroundings can make all the difference.

"Make sure you keep your personal property on you," he explained. "If you have a cell phone, keys, purse, try to make sure those things are closed or close to you. Try not to leave your purse in a cart, in a buggy while maybe you turn around to walk someplace else," he said.

They also say making sure to lock your car and parking in well lit areas as close to the entrance of a store can held deter criminals.

"Places like the mall where a large group of people will gather is a spot in which people will focus when they want to commit those type of property crimes and steal things from vehicles because they know they will have a lot of cars there at their disposal," Coram said.

Although criminals will take any opportunity they get, officials believe these tips can help make sure your Christmas isn't spoiled by a Grinch.

"Be aware of your surroundings, make sure you conceal your items and make sure you home is locked and hopefully you will be safe," he said.