SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – It’s the most wonderful time of year for deals…and steals. While shoppers take advantage of low prices and discounts on Black Friday, thieves roaming the parking lot are taking advantage of your distractions. Law enforcement offered some tips to deter holiday grinches from targeting your car.

Shoppers often think parking closer to the entrance of a store or mall will deter thieves from targeting their car, but Lt. M.T. Johnson with the West Valley City Police Department said that’s not always the case. With droves of shoppers heading to the stores and malls, it’s easy for a lurking thief to blend in.

“Most people are not paying attention to what’s going on around them. Most people coming and going from the stores are cold. They want to get inside fast,” he said. “So a thief walking up and breaking a window isn’t going to draw a lot of attention because there are ways of breaking a window very quietly and easily.”

Surveillance cameras don’t deter thieves either, because it’s often difficult for investigators to catch the culprits behind these crimes.

Lt. M.T. Johnson said thefts increase during the holidays because perpetrators know shoppers are stressed, overwhelmed, unsuspecting, or distracted – making them the perfect targets. The best way to deter thieves is to keep valuables in places that are out of sight or drop off your purchases at home before going to your next stop.”

“When it’s not possible to keep your valuables with you, then leave them somewhere that’s not visible like your trunk or the bed of your truck with a topper on it,” said Lt. Johnson. “Nobody wants to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on gifts and presents for their loved ones and then have it taken out of your car within minutes of having purchased them.”

With Cyber Monday coming up next week, police also want to remind residents to watch for porch pirates. They advise having your orders delivered to work or to your leasing office if you live in an apartment complex. If that’s not possible, set up a notification so you know when your package is being delivered and have someone take it in for you.