Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

During the holiday shopping season, we can tend to get so caught up in the details that we forget to monitor safety. Here are a few simple parking lot and shopping tips to follow:

Park Smart

  • Park and walk in well-lit, busy areas
  • Stay away from over-grown bushes and trees
  • Use valet parking or an attended garage if you are alone
  • Shop at locations that have police and/or security patrols

Never display or "flash" your cash or valuable personal items

  • If possible, don’t leave valuables (cell phones, electronics, GPS devices, jewelry, etc.) in a car…put them in the trunk if necessary
  • Don’t wear expensive jewelry while shopping or keep it to a minimum
  • Keep the amount of cash that you carry to a minimum…use credit cards
  • Carry cash in an unusual place instead of your purse or wallet

While walking through parking and public areas

  • Pay attention to your surroundings, people and vehicles in the area
  • Do not approach situations that do not feel safe
  • Walk with confidence
  • Do not overload yourself with packages
  • Carry your purse close to your body and your wallet in your front pocket
  • Do not be distracted by talking on the phone or wearing headphones
  • Help others by reporting suspicious people to the police or security staff
  • Ask security to escort you if you feel uneasy

When you reach your car

  • Have your keys in your hand and alarm panic button ready to activate
  • Look into the vehicle and check for intruders before entering
  • Continuously scan the area while loading children and packages
  • Teach your children to enter and exit the vehicle quickly
  • Roll up the windows and lock your doors as soon you get in the car
  • Make it a habit to always start your vehicle and drive away immediately

Approached by suspicious persons

  • Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason
  • Do not be afraid to tell subjects to back off, scream for help, activate your car alarm, or use a self defense product if in danger
  • If you suspect that you are being followed, switch directions and immediately go to a well-lit area crowded with people
  • If someone in a vehicle asks for directions answer from a distance – do not approach the vehicle

If you become the victim of a crime

  • If approached by a subject with a weapon do not argue or resist, give up the car and any valuables they ask for (your life is worth more than the car and valuables)
  • Keep records of credit card numbers and contact information in an easily accessible place and immediately report them if stolen. The quicker you report them…the less damage the robber can do.
  • Call the police immediately to report the crime and provide detailed information. Your actions can help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.

Courtesy of the City of Arlington: http://www.arlingtontx.gov

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