KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – With many people out shopping for holiday gifts, you may be wondering, “what can I do to keep my gifts and money safe from theft?”

According to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, holiday-related crimes such as break-ins and thefts increase this time of year because in most cases it’s an easy “snatch and grab.”

If you’re out shopping, Sgt. Ana Pile says you should shop with a partner, park in a well-lit area and pay attention to your surroundings.

“If you’re out shopping, make sure you secure any valuables in your trunk, don’t leave them visible in your car,” Pile says.

She also mentioned the importance of paying attention to your surroundings.

“Another thing that I notice a lot and I find myself doing is that I may be coming out of a store and I’m talking on a cellphone. While that’s good because someone on the other end could hear a potential crime occurring, it’s also bad because you’re not staying aware of your surroundings.

For those shopping online, Pile says you still need to be cautious. You can do that by using a safe website and keeping an eye on your bank account to make sure there’s no fraudulent activity.

If you are a victim of theft, Pile says you should contact your local law enforcement agency.