Crime Pulse

Be Alert During and After Shopping – Safety Tips

stealing-shopping-bags

Don’t give muggers, pick-pocketers or just plain old bad people the opportunity to ruin your shopping trips. Whether you are just making a quick run to the grocery store or out buying gifts, practice these safety tips and remember to keep packaging from bigger ticket items out of sight – not just thrown out to the curb on trash day!

Shopping

Before you head out, be sure to wear comfortable clothing. Do not wear baggy clothes that someone can easily grab onto. Do not wear heals or shoes that you cannot run in if you needed. Keep your wallet and phone in your front pockets or a buttoned/zipped pocket in the back.

Always be alert and keep your doors locked – even when you are driving or sitting in the car. Remember that you can always ask store security to escort you to your car. You may have to wait a few minutes longer, but you’ll be there a lot longer if someone attempts to steal your belongings before you get out of the parking lot!

Avoid shopping alone and at night. If you must make an evening trip out, ensure that you park as close as you can in a well-lit location away from vans, trucks with camper shells or cars with heavily tinted windows. When you are ready to leave, if any of these types of vehicles are parked next to you or you find anything at all suspicious – ask for security to walk you out to your vehicle.

Always have your keys in-hand before you exit the store and ensure you can readily unlock the door as soon as you arrive at your vehicle. Be sure to check the rear of the car as well to make sure there is not someone in the car.

Never leave your personal belongings including your purse, handbags, car keys, phones or shopping bags from previous stores unattended. It’s easy to turn your head for even just a few moments to look at another item and leave room for someone to snatch up your items. This is another great reason to always try to have someone else with you.

Your Vehicle

Never leave your car running. No matter how quick you plan to be, always turn off the car, roll up all windows and lock the doors before leaving your vehicle. Never leave children unattended and keep personal belongings out of site.

If you have made multiple stops, either take your bags from previous stores in with you or put them in the trunk. At a minimum, put them under the seat or out of sight. If you have larger items that you cannot keep out of sight it is best to make a quick run home to drop them off.