Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

holiday-shopping-safety

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Sure there’s the family gatherings, decadent food and holiday cheer, but did you know it’s also an opportune time for criminals? The holidays are a busy season for people and unfortunately the perfect time for criminals to strike while consumers are sidetracked with shopping. During the holiday season there is an increase in burglaries, misdemeanor assaults, thefts and criminal mischief. The current status of our economy also likely plays a role in the higher level of crimes occurring during the holidays as less ethical choices are being made. Throughout the season, we’ll provide you with advice for preventing holiday crime. As Black Friday is upon us, let’s take a look at some shopping safety tips:

Safety in Numbers: Whenever possible, shop with at least one other person or a group of people.

Stay Alert and Aware of your Surroundings: Always maintain your situational awareness. Pay attention to who is around you and what is going on when walking through malls and parking lots. Don’t leave a building or your vehicle until you have ensured all is safe and secure. Also, avoid being distracted by talking on the phone or texting, which can make you more of a target for theft.

Vehicle Safety: Be sure to park in well-lit, populated areas. If possible, take 60 seconds to drive around the parking lot and look for anything out of the ordinary or suspicious before you pull into that parking spot. Scan the area as you enter/exit your vehicle and have your keys out when approaching your car. Remember to always lock your vehicle and ensure windows are rolled up. Minimize the number of valuables left in your vehicle and keep all electronics, packages and other theft attractors stored out of sight. Thieves are typically looking for an easy target so anything you can do to deter them from choosing your property is beneficial.

On the Home Front: Use caution leaving empty boxes from valuables purchased in the garage area as this might advertise to a thief the new items in your home. Break down boxes and dispose of them inside trash containers.

Trust your Instinct: If you feel unsafe, leave the area immediately or seek out a security guard or police officer to escort you. Never hesitate to report anything or anyone suspicious you may observe.

Stay tuned for more holiday safety tips throughout the season on our social media pages!