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Holiday shopping safety tips

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
This is the time of year that brings out the worst in some people. Malls and big box stores are prime hunting grounds for thieves. Take a few precautions, this holiday season and don't become prey.

If at all possible, don't shop alone at night. Dark parking lots are trouble waiting to happen. If you DO go to a mall alone at night - use valet parking.

If you carry a shoulder bag, hang the strap ACROSS your body, with the flap against your body. This discourages purse snatchers and pickpockets. Better yet, don't carry a purse at all.

Here in Tucson, thieves cruise the parking lots, looking for women, with their purse dangling from a shoulder or arm. They pull up next to her, the passenger jumps out, snatches the purse and the thieves peel away.

If you have a lot of packages, take them out to the car and lock them in the trunk, before loading up with any more stuff. Some stores and malls have a "package check" kiosk also.

When exiting a store or mall, be aware of your surroundings. Have your keys in your hand and don't fumble for them, at your car. Pay attention. to where you are going, walk with your head up, with a brisk confident stride.

Before approaching your car, check out the vehicles parked next to it. Be wary of enclosed vans, parked on your driver's side. If you feel that anything is a bit "off", return to the building and ask for security to escort you to your vehicle. (Some years ago, my mother was almost snatched and dragged into a van. She was able to get into her car and lock the doors before the man could grab her.)

If you are approached, in a parking lot, do an immediate about-face and return to the store. Report the incident to security and get an escort.

If someone threatens you and demands the keys to your car, throw them as far as you can, in the opposite direction, run like heck and SCREAM! NEVER let someone get you into a vehicle. If you have a panic button, on your electronic remote, push it first.

Stay safe, everyone.
post #2 of 5
Great tips, Cindy!
post #3 of 5
Two things: here in Chicago, thieves are getting bolder. As soon as you place your purchases in your car trunk and close it, if you go back inside, or return a shopping cart, they break into your trunk very easily and quickly (cops are stumped here... no scratches or anything... but the trunks are cleaned out) and steal all your expensive gifts. Local police are suggesting you not do multiple stores or do package dumping into your vehicles... people (the not-so-nice ones) are watching. There have been multiple thefts in those same mall lots, as well as the big stores.

On a different note: if you live in cold weather climates, don't carry a purse. wear a jacket like what I have. I bought a ski jacket a few years ago (so I'd stay dry while shoveling my driveway at the time... no more driveway, but i still use the jacket), and it has multiple pockets, with two on the chest. I use one for keys and cell phone (the zipper is visible) and the other for money and cards (zipper is hidden under flap). During the winter months I don't carry a purse at all. This jacket is everything. Ski jackets aren't just for skiing anymore.

Amanda (in freezing Chicago... b-b-b-brrrr ... it's 8 degrees outside right now... and I need to do groceries... yikes!)
post #4 of 5
I also want to add, not just for the holidays but all the time, it is very important to lock your car doors as soon as you are inside your car. There was just a woman in our city who was raped and beaten this weekend. A man jumped into her car through the unlocked passenger and led her off to a dead end road.
As all ready mentioned you do not want to end up in the vehicle of a criminal, your chances of getting away at that time unharmed are slim.
post #5 of 5
Somewhat in the same note, here it's too warm for ski jackets, but I've started wearing men's cargo jeans as they're comfortable and have beaucoup velcroed pockets, including a zippered one on the leg. Perfect for putting my wallet into, and another one for the cellphone. Keys are on keyring snap and go on a belt loop on the front. If I happen to be wearing one of my other pairs of jeans I use a fanny pack, but switched around to the front where it's easily accessible and is also under my thumb.
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