With Holiday shopping in full swing, Nova Scotia RCMP are reminding shoppers that when you find that perfect gift, it’s important to be aware of how you can keep that gift safe.

“A lot of times people will buy something, put it back in their vehicle and go do more shopping,” says Sgt. Jade Spence.

Spence says that’s when thieves can strike, with a so-called ‘crime of opportunity’. In a parking lot packed with cars, it’s easy for someone to quickly grab a bag.

Officers say the most important things are making sure your doors are locked. If people can’t get into your car easily, they’ll move along.

“Most of the time, the thieves will not actually break the window into the vehicle or pop the trunk or anything like that, they’re just looking for open vehicles, looking for an easy target,” says Sgt. Spence.

The RCMP’s annual awareness campaign is known as ‘Operation Hawkeye’ and there are plenty of tips on how to keep your gifts safe.

“Paying attention to where you parked, and what you’re doing as you’re walking,” says shopper Noel Legatto. “We live in a cell phone world and sometimes we’re not paying attention to our surroundings, so little things like that.”

“We always cover it with blankets or something like that, if we have in the car, jackets, we cover our stuff away,” says shopper Nykola Selig.

RCMP also warn the public about keeping cash or valuables out in the open.

“Most people will have some change in the glove compartment or in the console between the seats, so they get an easy $10, but if they go to ten vehicles, all of a sudden they have $100,” explains Sgt. Spence.

Tips to ensure your Holidays are merry, bright and safe.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.