Burglars know that shoppers are out shopping during the holiday season, and look for easy targets and vulnerabilities to exploit.
Here are a few common-sense tips to reduce the odds of becoming a victim…
1. Eliminate any signs that you are gone. Make your house look like you are home. Leave some lights on. Leave the TV or radio on.
2. Don’t tweet or facebook your social status that you are out shopping.
3. Maintain situational awareness of what is happening around you.
4. Don’t daydream while you’re walking around.
5. Keep your head up and look around you. Look confident.
6. Avoid walking around with your head down in your smart phone while texting.
7. Shoppers should always keep one hand free. When you are carrying a lot of bags or packages in both hands, you are more vulnerable.
8. When you are out shopping, go with someone else. Shop in pairs. Thieves are less likely to strike when there are a lot of people around.
9. Ladies, avoid carrying a purse. Instead, just carry your ID and payment in your pocket. You might consolidate those things (including additional necessities) into a smaller wallet which could drop into your pocket while shopping. You could keep your purse in the trunk of the car if you must bring it with you.
10. Carry pepper spray. Particularly when going to and from a parking lot, carry it in your hand while walking towards your vehicle. It is convenient to attach to your key-ring.
11. Have your car keys out and ready BEFORE you get to your car.
12. If you are licensed to carry a firearm, do so. It is your ultimate protection. If you are not, then you might consider looking into it.
13. If you are carrying a lot of packages back to your car, look around you. See if anyone is watching you loading packages into your car.
14. Put purchases in the trunk, out of sight. Not in your back seat.
15. Shoppers who are out late should park in well-lit areas.