By Ken Striplin City Manager ’Tis the season to shop, gift and give. It’s also the season when would-be thieves are on the lookout for an easy target. You can make sure your holiday purchases end up under your tree and not part of the “Stolen Collection” by following these simple safety tips. When shopping at the mall, and your hands fill up with boxes and bags, it may be tempting to run back to your car and toss them on the seat. However, crooks are on the lookout for an easy take, and it only takes them a second to smash your window and make off with your purchases. Make sure you always park in a well-lit area, and if you do need to store something in your car — lock it in the trunk and out of sight. Decided to skip the mall and do all your shopping online? Make sure you have a secure spot for packages to be delivered. Thieves are known to tail UPS, FedEx or mail trucks to pick up with gets dropped off. When possible, require a signature for delivery or have the packages shipped to your workplace or to a neighbor who you know will be home. If you like to give, or hope to get, gift cards, checks or cold, hard cash in the mail — you can now track the envelopes coming your way. The U.S. Postal Service offers you the opportunity to get an electronic report of all the mail headed for your house. The Informed Delivery program is free and works by taking pictures of your mail as it’s being scanned at their facilities, and they’ll share those digital images with you in a daily email so you know what mail is scheduled to be delivered. That way if something comes up missing — you’ll know to report it. (Visit informeddelivery.usps.com for more information.) Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit like setting up your beautiful tree, decked out with festive ornaments. But think twice about where you put your tree. Right in front of your window facing the street looks like holiday perfection. However, it also allows anyone to peek in and see what kind of gifts are under your tree. Same goes with leaving the boxes from those new big screen TVs, computers and other pricey items. It’s like advertising to burglars what they will find inside. As we say in our ‘Stolen Collection’ ads: “Thieves have bad motives; they want your gifts, too; if they get their way, you’ll be saying ‘boo-hoo’; so follow these tips, there’s a very good reason; and shut down the ‘Stolen Collection’ this season.” The views expressed above are those of the city of Santa Clarita, and not necessarily those of the Sunday Signal. Visit scstolencollection.com for more on how to protect your valuables this holiday season, and every day.