By Jonathan Williams
Times West Virginian
In the excitement of the Christmas season, it can be easy to picture the world as all sunshine and snowbanks.
Unfortunately, as more and more people crowd into stores to find that perfect gift, they create larger and larger targets for criminals, who see packed parking lots and extended holiday hours as an invitation to strike.
To stay safe during the holidays, police say that common sense is key.
“You always have to have a plan,” said Marion County Sheriff Joe Carpenter.
He goes around and talks to groups of people about home and personal safety, and he said that the absolute most important thing is to know what to do if you find yourself in a situation that makes you uncomfortable.
Say, for example, you’re walking through the parking lot, bags in hand, after dark because there were no spaces close to the store. What do you do?