It’s the most wonderful — and distraction-filled — time of the year! Stay aware of your surroundings and invest in your personal safety by “being present.” When you feel rushed, harried, or frustrated, take a moment to stop and refocus on the here and now. Don’t be that person wandering through a dark parking lot with your arms full of shopping bags, wondering where you parked.
Most people are law-abiding, helpful, and good. However, not everyone is feeling the holiday spirit, and there are thieves and other opportunists just waiting for someone who is isolated, distracted, or otherwise at a disadvantage.
- Pay attention when parking, so you won’t be searching for your car when you leave.
- Have your keys in your hand before you begin walking to your car.
- Walk out with a group, to avoid isolating yourself.
- Don’t carry too much at one time; make multiple trips to your vehicle if need be, to avoid making yourself a slow-moving target of opportunity.
- Ladies, put your purse in the vehicle before loading your purchases, or unloading a shopping cart. Too many times, a purse is the last thing you’re thinking of…I’ve seen purses on the roofs of cars, and I’ve personally returned a purse that was left in a shopping cart in a “cart corral.”
- Don’t flash a lot of cash while shopping. Be organized, and pay by card or take out only the cash you need to pay for your items.
- Keep close track of your purse, wallet, and phone, and don’t set these items down. Checkout lines can be hectic, and it’s easy to get momentarily distracted. Be sure to keep purses closed and zipped/latched, and phones and wallets securely and intentionally placed in a front or interior pocket.
- Listen to your intuition. Ask Security personnel to escort you to your vehicle; they’ll be glad to assist you.
- When you get in your vehicle, lock the doors immediately.
Stay focused, stay safe, and have a wonderful holiday season!