Are you heading out for Black Friday to get the new PS4 or Xbox One? Perhaps you are looking for a great deal on a flat screen or a new coat. Whatever the steal/deal you are looking for- there may be someone lurking in the shadows looking to take your steal and actually steal it out of your car while you hit up more stores to finish up your holiday shopping. People’s Trust has put together some great tips for when you go out shopping this holiday season- and of course, you can use them whenever you go shopping!
- Use the buddy system. It is always a good idea to shop with a friend. Criminals are less likely to target two or more individuals. You are more likely to become a target if you are alone.
- Lock your gifts in the trunk. An electronics store bag filled with goodies sitting on the back seat in plain view is tempting for a smash-and-grab burglar. Make sure you empty your car before you go shopping so nothing is left in plain sight that may be tempting and you’ll have room for new items.
- Consider moving your car if shopping at an outdoor mall or outlet stores when dropping off shopping bags. No one likes to drag around too many items from store to store, so most people return to their cars several times to drop off purchases and resume shopping. When you do this, consider moving your car a few lanes away or near the new store you will be shopping at. Thieves like to stake out parking lots for people leaving purchases in their car and returning to stores. If they see you get in and drive away they will likely assume your shopping trip is over and look for another target.
- Don’t flash your cash. Limit the amount of valuables you carry to minimize potential loss. It may be safer to bring a small amount of cash and bring your plastic instead. Seeing someone with a large stack of cash can be very tempting to a criminal to follow and mug. Remember, others are watching. If you must use cash, keep some cash in your pocket and the rest in your wallet, so you don’t have to show your entire hand at the register. On a side note, consider the jewelry you are wearing and try not to wear anything flashy that may make a criminal look twice. Leave these items at home for another occasion.
- Wear your purse across your body. Keep your hands free and intruders prying hands out.
- Ask for a security guard escort. If you approach your car and see an unsavory character staked out nearby, return to the store and ask for someone to walk you to your car. Most store security personnel are used to this, so there is no need to feel embarrassed. Besides, better to be safe than sorry!
- Check the back seat for potential criminals before getting back in your car. Carry your keys in your hand while you are walking toward your vehicle, and pick a parking space that’s easy to back out of so that you can leave the parking lot quickly.
- Have keys ready, and don’t take your time getting in your car. Your time to find your keys should not be on the way to your car. Find your keys before you exit the store and keep them in your hand. Do not look down while walking to your car. Pay attention to your surroundings (not on your cell phone.). Walk quickly and confidently to your vehicle, and unlock, enter and lock the doors in quick fashion. Once safely inside you can verify receipts, store your purse, etc.
- Park your car in a well-lit area and keep track of where it’s parked. This will get you in your car and on your way faster. Be vigilant about your surroundings during the daylight hours. A crime can occur any time.
- Parents, park next to the shopping cart return area. When you are finished shopping it is nice to put Junior in the car seat and return the shopping cart one lane away, rather than walking fifty feet away with Junior alone in the car, or you toting him and three bags of groceries.
- Do not overload yourself with packages. Many stores offer will-call and curbside pick-up services instead. You can also have your packages delivered from some stores. Though this may cost more, a person carrying a lot of packages are often targets for criminals because such shoppers are distracted and not as mobile.
This Blog is sponsored by:
People’s Trust Insurance Company