Don’t be a victim while out shopping

Updated November 28, 2018
Don’t be a victim while out shopping
Are you ready for the holiday shopping season? Black Friday is often seen as the official beginning of the holiday shopping season. If you are like many consumers, you will at least do some of your shopping in a store or mall. We all know that store parking lots become extra congested during the holiday shopping season.

Parking lot safety tips
Did you know that parking lots are where most mall-related crime occurs? Drivers and walkers navigating the lot are vulnerable to theft, and unattended vehicles loaded with packages are often open invitations for break-ins. If you plan on going to the mall for some holiday shopping here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Stay focused
People walking through the parking lot are often distracted with their cellphone. To reduce your chance of becoming a victim look to your front, side, and rear when walking to and from a store. Being aware of your surroundings lessens your chances of becoming a victim or getting struck by a car.

woman trunk of carAssume you’re watched

Criminals watch for shoppers who put purchases in their car or trunk, then walk back into the store. Once you’re gone, it can take only moments to break in and grab items. If you need to stow packages while shopping, re-park your car in a different location, away from anyone who could have been observing.

Don’t dally
Walk like you have a purpose. Don't wander, even if you don't know where your car is. Have your car key in hand before you leave the store. Once in your car, lock the doors immediately and drive off. Don’t sit and do other things like text, make a call or put on makeup. Driving away as soon as possible will lessen the chance of you becoming a target.

Beware of stranger danger

If you are approached or chased, yell or scream to get attention or go back to the store and alert security. If you are followed while driving, go to an open gas station or a populated area with plenty of light. Get on the phone and call 911.
Review these shopping tips with your family members. Taking precautions before you head out to do some holiday shopping, will reduce your chance of being a victim of theft.