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How to Be Safe When You Shop During the Holidays

The malls, power centers, outlet malls and strip malls are a wonderful place to find that special gift for someone special.  Thieves target these locations.  Here are a few tips to help keep you safe:

  • Always park under a light - even if you begin your shopping during the day.  Often a quick shopping trip can drag out and you find yourself walking to your car after dark. If you are already parked under a light, your car will be visible.
  • To a car thief, a mall is like going to a buffet.  There are all makes and models available.  Use an anti-theft deterrent such as the club or steering wheel column.   Another good device is a kill switch or car alarm that needs you to push a button on your key chain before gas will flow to the engine.
  • Theft from vehicles is also a problem.  Many times people who are shopping all day will go back to their car to drop off their purchases.  This is not recommended, but if you are going to do it, put the parcels in your trunk or cover them with a blanket so they are not visible.
  • If you are shopping at night and have to walk alone to your car, ask the mall security to escort you to your car.  When you walk to your car, hold your car key in your hand and keep your head up so you can scan your environment.
  • When you get to your car, look underneath as you approach and look in the back seat before you get in.  If your doors or windows have any damage, don't get in the car.   If people are hanging around your car, go back to the store and ask the manager or staff for help.
     
  • When walking inside the mall, pay attention to your surroundings.  If you have children, do not let them run unescorted around the mall.  Malls are not a baby-sitter.