HOLIDAY SHOPPING SAFETY TIPS
- DRESS FOR SHOPPING-Wear comfortable clothing with a number of pockets. Avoid flashy jewelry whether it is real or costume. Comfortable shoes are a must. (In case you have to run from an assailant).
- AVOID PURSES AND WALLETS- This leaves your hands free to deal with kids and packages. Avoid shoulder purses of any kind. If you must carry a purse, carry a short strap-hand held purse. Carry only the essentials. For men; instead of a wallet, secure your cash in a money clip in your front pocket. If you must carry a wallet, wear snug fitting slacks or carry it in your coat breast pocket.
- CASH, CHECKS, CREDIT CARDS- Carry cash in denominations no larger than a $20.00 bill. Carry your cash in various locations on your body such as pockets, socks, bras, etc.. If you carry a check book, make sure that you keep up with the check numbers and the recipients. This will assist you in cancelling your checks. Carry only the credit cards that you need while you are shopping. Always log your credit card numbers and the 800 numbers and keep them in a safe place just in case you have to cancel them.
- DRIVE WITH YOUR CAR DOORS LOCKED-Don’t take the chance of someone jumping in the car with you at a stop sign or a red light.
- PARKING LOT ETIQUETTE– Drive around a parking lot and make sure that there are no suspicious persons lurking about. If you are going to be returning to your vehicle after dark, park in a well lit area. Find a landmark so you can return to your vehicle easily. Have everything in your hands before you get out of your vehicle. Look around to see if it is safe to exit. Exit quickly, lock your door and proceed to your destination. Keep your keys in your hand in case you have to use them as a defense weapon. Walk in the center of the drive. If a vehicle approaches, step to the driver’s side of the approaching vehicle and let it pass. Then return to the center of the drive. If someone is crouched down behind a parked vehicle, this action would make them run to you instead of you going near them. Make good eye contact with people and issue a verbal acknowledgment. This lets a potential attacker know that you have seen them and may possibly recognize them again.
- WHEN RETURNING TO YOUR VEHICLE, have your keys in hand, quickly enter into your vehicle and leave. DO NOT sit and arrange packages, make phone calls or put on make-up. This allows a potential attacker time to approach you.
- ENTERING INTO YOUR VEHICLE – Do not activate your remote keyless entry until you are even with the back of your vehicle. If done any sooner, someone could enter into your vehicle before you do.
- IF YOU ARE ATTACKED, do not resist. There is nothing in your package, purse or wallet that is worth your life. If you are forced into a physical confrontation to protect yourself or others, scream to call attention to yourself. You can use your keys or thumbs to gouge the attacker’s eyes, use the heel of your hand to jam the attackers nose or Adams apple, knee the groin area or stomp down on top of the attacker’s foot. These tactics may be helping to stun your attacker so that you may make a quick escape.
- DESCRIBE YOUR ATTACKER-Race, sex, height, weight, identifying features such as scars, marks, tattoos and other oddities, glasses, clothing (particularly pants and shoes), vehicle descriptions and direction of travel.
- STRENGTH IN NUMBERS-Shop with others. If you are by yourself and feel apprehensive about returning to a parking lot, ask for an escort from security or a store manager.
- DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES VISIBLE IN YOUR VEHICLE. Cash, purses, coins, jewelry, cell phones, radar detectors and cameras are very popular items.
- BE ALERT. Make sure that you are not followed after you leave. If you think that you are being followed, drive around until you see a Police Officer or go through a fast food drive thru window (one that is clear) and ask the clerk to get a description of the vehicle if they can and call the Police for you. Do not go home!
- CHECK YOUR GARAGE. Make sure no one enters your garage as the door closes behind you. Exit your vehicle only after you know that things are secure.
- KNOW YOUR LOCATION: 911 is a free call on your cell phone. Please know your location so you can give it to the Police Dispatcher.
15. If you see suspicious activity, call it in.