During this time of the year, many motorists are forced to watch over their belongings that they leave in their cars while they're out shopping for the holiday season. Help Eliminate Auto Thefts recently gave tips for shoppers who want to avoid having their belongings that they've paid for stolen from their vehicles.

According to auto theft experts, November and December are the most active months for auto theft crimes, with criminals looking to score big with the items that could be in a car owner's trunks or back seats from their holiday shopping.

"Cold weather doesn't stop us from shopping and it sure doesn't stop thieves from going out and looking for victims," said Terri Miller, director of H.E.A.T. "The holidays are a joyous time of year that could easily be ruined by having your vehicle broken in to, or stolen. It's important to take a few extra minutes to protect yourself, your vehicle and your belongings."

H.E.A.T gave these tips for auto owners who want to avoid having items from their cars stolen during the holidays.

-Stay alert of your surroundings. While coming back and forth from the car, you should make sure that your surroundings are safe to catch any suspicious looking individuals. Talking on your cell phone or texting could make you an easy target, so these activities should be avoided until you are in the store.

-Parking in well lit areas. When looking for a parking space at a store, be sure to park in a well-lit area that gives other shoppers and security cameras a clear view of your vehicle. You should avoid parking near objects that can block your view, such as dumpsters, bushes, large vans or trucks.

-Placing valuables in the trunk. The best place you can put your valuables that you purchased is in the trunk. The trunk takes valuable items out of the view of possible criminals and makes your car less of a target.

-Taking valuable items out first. Since criminals are getting more bold and now approaching homeowners in their driveways, you should make sure you take the valuable items in your home first if no one is there to help you unload the bags from the trunk.

You should also make sure that your car's security system is in the best condition, which could improve the performance of the alarm, possibly scaring off a thief.