The holiday season is now upon us and a vast majority of the population will be venturing out to shop for friends and family. Thieves will be also be out shopping and are hoping to make you their next victim.
This time of year attracts more criminal activity to retail areas because of extended store hours and larger crowds. Shoppers are easily distracted while looking at possible purchases, thus creating a more favorable environment for thieves.
Anticipate crowds and remember to take safety precautions. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you shop at night, park close to the store and under a parking lot light, if you can. Be alert when walking to and from your car, lock your vehicle and be sure to conceal your purchases by locating them in a trunk or cover them with a blanket.
Avoid leaving your purse containing your driver’s license, checkbook and credit cards unattended in a shopping cart or baby stroller. It just takes a second for a thief to grab it.
The buddy system is also a great crime deterrent. Shop with a friend or in a group. It’s not only more fun, but it greatly reduces your chances of being victimized.
Here are a few more tips for shopping safety during the holiday season:
· Conceal packages in trunks - plain view
· Report suspicious people or activities immediately
· Lock your vehicle
· Pay attention to your surroundings, both in a store and in a parking lot
· If you feel uneasy returning to your car alone, find a security guard or store employee and ask them to walk you to your car.