Police issue warning to shoppers after Glendale Mall car break-ins

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At least twenty cars were broken into during this year's Drumstick Dash, and police are warning you to stay safe as you're out shopping this weekend.

The burglars took credit cards, cell phones, even an Illinois police officer's badge and gun from cars parked at the Glendale Mall.

Police remind you to always park in well-lit areas and bring your valuables inside.

"We just try to put it out of sight. Then in between trips, dropping it off at a close location so it's not in the car," said Tracy Cline, shopper.

"To start out with something so joyful and then you know, and it was so early in the morning still. It's just disappointing for them," said Crystal Buening, a Drumstick Dash runner.

There are no suspects in Thursday's car break-ins, but police plan to review surveillance video.

Safety tips (common sense, but good ideas to keep in mind!)

•Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

•Dress casually and comfortably.

•Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

•Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.

•Always carry your driver's license or identification along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.

•Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.

•Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

•Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.

•Keep cash in your front pocket.

•Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.

•Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

•Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit.

•Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.

•Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con-artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.