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Deputies warn shoppers to lock their car doors, hand out gifts

Posted at 6:33 PM, Dec 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-22 18:33:30-05

Collier County Sheriff's deputies want to make sure shoppers keep their holiday gifts and valuables safe while out at the stores - by having one-on-one chats with shoppers about keeping their car doors locked, and purchases left in vehicles out of sight. Several deputies talked to shoppers outside the Wal-Mart near Immokalee Road and Interstate 75 Friday morning about the safety concern.

"There's so much more traffic out on the roadways and people are out at our box stores shopping," said Sergeant Thad Rhodes of the Collier County Sheriff's Office. "So it's very important that they continue to lock their doors, place their valuables where they're not in plain sight."

"We think about that all the time," said shopper Barbara Clawson. "We never leave our car doors unlocked. Always lock them. Even if you're in a place that you know is great, things happen."

Deputies had more than safety advice for shoppers - they handed out gift cards for Outback and Dunkin' Donuts, and even passed out toys, such as Barbie dolls, to a few lucky kids.

"If we can come out and just brighten their day a little bit, and give them some Christmas cheer, that makes this all worthwhile," Rhodes said.