Successfully navigating holiday shopping doesn't end when you leave the store.
Your worst nightmare could be realized when you get to your car..
"We have a lot of criminals that this their busy season, too," explains Sgt. Rich Weiner, Columbus Division of Police.
Columbus Division of Police Sergeant Rich Weiner explains how thieves will work in pairs. One breaks the window and grabs your goods, and the other drives the getaway car.
"It only takes a couple seconds for the bad guy to come up, take a look in the car, see a GPS, see a laptop, see a purse," said Weiner.
10TV saw all of that on a recent check of one Central Ohio parking lot.
Weiner pointed out a charging cord that could be a sign to crooks. He also saw a purse and boots in one car. Another one had a laptop bag in the back seat.
"It says 'Take Me," said Weiner.
Other finds Weiner spotted walking through the parking lot and looking in cars included GPS units, sleeves of CDs, and even two televisions.
It's a a target-rich environment, made more enticing because we're all in a hurry, and that leads to careless mistakes.
Weiner promotes awareness as one key to protection. Park in well-lit areas close to stores and avoid obstructions like bushes or large SUVs.
"If it's hiding your car, it's hiding the bad guy," he added.
Weiner says if you want to keep your holiday gifts, keep them hidden out of sight.