As the holiday season approaches I thought it appropriate to write an article pertaining to safety while shopping.
Unfortunately this peaceful and beautiful time of year many people will become victims of crime which can so easily be avoided. With the lagging economy and the tough times people are facing crime will most likely be at a high this
season. This article pertains to men and women alike and is meant to encourage the reader to be aware of their
surroundings at all times for their own personal safety. I am writing this article as if I was at the heading off to the mall.
The first thing that I do when heading off to the mall is to find a parking area close to the entrance of the mall and if
none are available you will look for an open space further from entrance and other vehicles for your space. When you are out in the evening park in an area that is completely illuminated. Prior to parking I will do a drive around the parking lot and look for any suspicious people sitting in their vehicles. Some criminals will use several vehicles and
communicate via their cell phones and you need to keep an eye open for this and report any suspicious vehicles to
mall security and they can do a drive by and this is usually enough for the criminal to leave. ( When shopping I
recommend that you do not travel alone there is strength in numbers and criminal will most likely strike when you are alone. So always try take someone with you.) Always carry your cell phone in your back pocket so you can reach it quickly to call the police.
Prior to exiting the vehicle I will place my wallet in my front pocket and I would have already removed important
documents such as social security card or any other information where someone can steal your identity. For ladies I
recommend that you do not carry purses and carry your cash or credit cards in your front pocket, if you must carry a
purse then you would hold it in your hands never place it on your shoulder via the straps and NEVER put your straps around your neck. By placing your purse around your neck the would be attacker could easily control your body by choking or throwing you around. It is best to just leave your purse at home and just take basic items with you driver’s license, insurance cards etc. I would also recommend that you use credit cards or bank cards when shopping if you do become a victim of crime it is much easier to cancel your credit or bank cards and the Police are more likely to catch the criminals when they attempt to use the credit cards or bank cards. It is difficult to replace cash you worked hard for it why let a thug take your hard earned money.
Now that we have exited the vehicle we begin are journey into the mall. Again as we are walking in the entrance we
want to look for people loitering(hanging around the doors). Criminal thugs have become quite sophisticated and will
use cell phones to communicate and they will watch what kind of vehicle your driving and wait for you especially if you are alone. If people are loitering around the entrances/exits you need to alert security and they will make them leave. This is good not only for your safety but the safety of others also. Some people just don’t pay attention to their surroundings and if you can help an unsuspecting person why not. Again this is basic safety shopping 101.
Now we are in the mall and shopping and having a jolly old time. We need to pay attention to our surroundings. (Again I can’t emphasis enough on paying attention to your surroundings.) You want to make sure you are not being followed. If you continue to see the same person every store you go to you need to alert security immediately. A lot of times thugs/criminal will not follow you into the store but wait outside on a bench and just observe you. If this happens try going to the other side of the mall and see if this person follows you over there. (Again alert security if you believe you are being followed). I would further recommend that you do not walk around the mall talking on your cell phone. When walking around and talking on your cell phone you cannot possibly beware of what is going on around you and thugs know this so be cautious about walking and talking on your cell phones (emphasis added).
Now we have made several purchases and are walking around the mall. First you will make sure that your purchases are in a bag and covered. This is to prevent the thug/criminal from knowing what you purchased. If you are carrying around a laptop computer the thug/criminal may more likely want to rob you. Keep your purchases in a bag and concealed. If you purchase larger items such as Tvs, consoles, etc. I would recommend that you have those items delivered by Professionals. Why? Because it can take some time to load your vehicle and suspecting criminals will possibly follow you home (again this safety shopping 101).
Now we have made are purchases and already to head home. I suggest heading directly home after your shopping. Do not leave your purchased items in your vehicle and stop off somewhere else, because again thugs/criminals walk through parking lots looking into vehicles that may be loaded with items. It only takes a second to bust out a car window and unlock the door and take what is in vehicle. (Head home after shopping) Also be aware of being followed home. I always will drive around the block sometimes several blocks just to make sure I am not followed. Again their have been many instances where thugs/criminals have followed people home and cased their home’s and have come back to rob them at a later time. (Be aware of your surroundings) I would further recommend that you place your items in the trunk of your vehicle in case you do have another stop. The thug/criminal will more likely attempt to break into a vehicle where they can see the items, if your purchases are in the trunk it is out of sight and out of mind.
I hope this has been helpful and I wish you all a safe and Happy Holiday season.