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Unfortunate Holiday Reminders

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
With the threads just this week by crittermom, icklemiss21, and DixieDarlin about thefts of the season, I sent out this email to a bunch of people in my email list. It never hurts for there to be a reminder that we all need to be careful, especially with the Christmas shopping season coming into full swing. Feel free to "steal" this to send to your loved ones as a reminder too, and to add to the tips for all of us.

It's really unfortunate that a reminder like this should even have to go out, but unfortunately it is necessary.

While the holidays are a time of giving and kindness for most, it is also a time that brings out the worst in some people. Call it desperation, greed, whatever you want, but the fact is that this is a time of year where we have to be a bit more mindful of ourselves and our possessions.

On the web forum that I'm on, in the last few days alone there have been 3 threads started by victims of theft. One had her credit card/bank card information stolen from an online transaction. One had her wallet stolen in the grocery store. The third's home was broken into, and cash and jewelry was stolen. In light of that, I wanted to send this reminder to people that I care about.

When shopping with a cart, be mindful of what is going on around you, and keep your purse/wallet in front of you and in your hands. Be cautious of people "bumping" into you in a crowded store (that's how the lady's wallet was stolen). Keep an eye on the contents of your cart after you've checked out, and especially in the parking lot when you are loading it into your car. If you turn your back on it, you may be missing a bag or two off the top.

One of the reported crimes last year were people breaking into trunks of cars in mall/store parking lots, looking for bags from other stores to steal. Of course, there is also the danger of carrying bags with you in the mall of someone grabbing the bag(s) and running.

Home safety is always a concern, but even moreso right now. Be sure that the doors are locked whether you are home or not. Don't make it easy on the theives - lock the doors and windows (the majority of home intrusions are through unlocked entries). Don't keep valuables in plain view through the windows/doors.

Keep a list separate from your wallet/computer of your credit card & bank information. Keep account numbers and phone numbers of the issuers to call to cancel the cards. Also know the numbers for the three credit bureaus so you can put a Fraud Alert on your credit if something does get stolen (it's free for 90 days).

Wishing everyone a happy, safe and uneventful holiday season!
post #2 of 13
Thanks! We all have to remember that not everyone has a great holiday spirit about them.
post #3 of 13
It's also good to make sure your homeowners/renters insurance is current. I also like to keep an inventory of items in my home so if anything does happen I can easily identify what's missing.
post #4 of 13
Oh thanks, some really useful tips there and I´d like to add another ..

whenever in a car, put your purse or handbag (as us foreigners call it) under your own seat - push it as far back as possible. If your passenger (s) have a purse, suggest the same - also locking your doors when travelling is good, I do know alot of US cars have an automatic lock-down but this is not common in Europe or older cars.

we had a spate of purse-snatchers from cars at traffic-signals waiting for the light to change, they see your purse on the passenger seat - open the door and away with it all ! A good friend of mind was sat in her car waiting for her DH to return from a shop - a snatcher - bold as brass - came up to the car knocked on the window - she unfortunately opened the door and he took her purse and ran off - she thought he wanted directions or something - she said he´d been hanging about looking lost.............um fine trick eh !!

or another one was when you´re parked 2 approached the car, one to the drivers side to distract the driver, the 2nd person would open the passenger door and take the purse (and other goodies) from the seat or floor - if its hidden they cant see it

I always put my bag under the seat and lock the doors, when I arrive at my destination, I always get my bag over my shoulder or under my arm before I open the door. These bag-snatchers are wick and every second counts, you turn your head or get distracted (particularly with kiddies ) and they are in and out in seconds

So just a thought - sorry to bang on - dont want to dampens things - but be watchful all
post #5 of 13
Great points everyone!! Another quick reminder a friend of mine had to learn the hard way: When using a public restroom, do NOT hang your purse on the hooks they provide on the backs of the doors. All a thieve has to do is reach over the top of the door and grab it. Then you're left half naked with nothing to do about it.
post #6 of 13
Also remember to check under your vehicle and in your backseat before getting into your car. Especially if its night time.
post #7 of 13
Originally Posted by maddensmom View Post
Also remember to check under your vehicle and in your backseat before getting into your car. Especially if its night time.
Also, when you are in your car, make sure all of the doors are locked. There have been cases where women are abducted when someone forces his way into the car while they are waiting for someone or making a cell phone call.

Be aware of people around you as you go to your car and if someone makes you nervous, see if there is someone from the store who can escort you to your car.

Put power cords for cell phones, GPS, radar detectors out of sight because thieves look for these as a sign to break in for the associated electronics.
post #8 of 13
Thanks Heidi, thats a very useful reminder. Im so sorry to those of you who have had bad experiences with theft already this festive season.
post #9 of 13
I don't carry purse when shopping but, if you DO, carry a shoulder bag. Hang the strap ACROSS your body, with the flap against your body. This makes it difficult to snatch or pick.

When exiting a mall or store, be aware of your surroundings, scanning as you walk toward your car. Eyeball your car BEFORE you reach it. Have your keys IN your hand, when you leave the store - you do not want to be standing there fumbling in your purse for them.

If approached by a potential carjacker, THROW your keys, as far as you can and run in the OPPOSITE direction, making as much noise as possible. If someone is hanging around your car, return to the store/mall and ask security to escort you to your car. If the mall has a parking lot tram, to take people back to their cars - USE it. Better yet, use valet parking - your safety is worth the $3-$5.

If you have young children, keep them in sight, at ALL times or don't take them at all.
post #10 of 13
Also, trust your gut. If you feel jumpy, or that something is not right, change directions, go back into the store, or get out of there fast, whatever make the most sense. Intuition, especially women's, is there for a reaseon. Use it
post #11 of 13
For the guys... or women who carry wallets. Keep it in your front pocket instead of your back.
post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
For the guys... or women who carry wallets. Keep it in your front pocket instead of your back.
Very good idea!!!
post #13 of 13
Thanks for the reminders.
I sure do NOT want anyone to go through what I am right now.
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