Don’t be a victim while shopping safety tips.

Updated November 07, 2020
Are you ready for the holiday shopping season?

With COVID 19 still active throughout the region, holiday shopping will be different this year with many opting to do most of their shopping online. Some of you, however, may still find yourself doing some shopping in stores or malls. We all know that store parking lots can become congested during the holiday season. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind if you are out shopping this holiday season. 

Did you know that parking lots are where most mall-related crime occurs? Drivers and walkers navigating the lot are vulnerable to theft, and unattended vehicles loaded with packages are often open invitations for break-ins. If you plan on going to the mall for some holiday shopping here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Stay focused
People walking through the parking lot are often distracted with their cellphone. To reduce your chance of becoming a victim look to your front, side, and rear when walking to and from a store. Being aware of your surroundings lessens your chances of becoming a victim or getting struck by a car.
Assume you’re watched
Criminals watch for shoppers who put purchases in their car or trunk, then walk back into the store. Once you’re gone, it can take only moments to break in and grab items. If you need to stow packages while shopping, re-park your car in a different location, away from anyone who could have been observing.

Don’t dally
Walk like you have a purpose. Don't wander, even if you don't know where your car is. Have your car key in hand before you leave the store. Once in your car, lock the doors immediately and drive off. Don’t sit and do other things like text, make a call or put on makeup. Driving away as soon as possible will lessen the chance of you becoming a target.

Beware of stranger danger Be aware of stranger danger
If you are approached or chased, yell or scream to get attention or go back to the store and alert security. If you are followed while driving, go to an open gas station or a populated area with plenty of light. Get on the phone and call 911.

Review these shopping tips with your family members. Taking precautions before you head out to do some holiday shopping, will reduce your chances of being a victim of theft.