Pay attention folks the Holiday season is creeping up on us. Pretty soon you will all be out there hitting the malls and looking to get a step ahead of the Christmas rush. BE CAREFUL.
The bad boys will be out there doing their Christmas shopping too. Only problem is they seldom shop in the stores. They like to shop at the mall too but usually they do their shopping in the parking lot.
They also like to shop in other parking lots, like at the Metro Stations, Sports Complexes and any place where there are large parking lots, medium parking lots and even small parking lots like at strip malls. They have their shopping list too.
AWARENESS, it is your best defense. Be AWARE of who and what is around you. Look around before you get out of your car. Look around before you approach your car. Don't even think of going to your car if someone is hanging around near it. Doesn't matter if they look harmless, don't trust them. Better safe than sorry. Wait a few minutes and see if they leave the area. If they don't go back in the mall and ask one of the security guys to escort you to your car.
Don't park in unlighted areas or near bushes or large stanchions (poles), people hide behind them. Carry mace if the law allows it or have your keys in between your fingers pointing out so you can use them as a weapon if necessary. The bad boys may want more than just your money, packages or your car. Assume the worst and be prepared to react against it.
Keep in mind that everybody is hurting this season and there may well be more folks out looking for a quick buck than in normal times. People are getting desperate and there is no telling what they may do these days, especially at a time of year where they are expected to bring the kids home some presents.
Don't dress real fancy. Dress down. Don't give people the impression that you have money. Don't drive the Mercedes to the mall take a different vehicle if you have one. Don't do or act in any way that draws attention to yourself as one of means, you will invite an attack. People are frustrated, scared, broke, and unemployed; and those are the nice people.
Be prepared when you go on your shopping spree and go in groups if possible. Rent a van if you have to. It's the lone shopper that gets targeted more than anyone else.
Don't take your normal purse when you go shopping. Leave it at home. Buy a cheap purse for your make up or whatever but keep your cash and credit cards in your pockets. Put a few dollars in the purse just to make Mr. Bad Guy happy. If they grab for your purse, let them have it. If your cash, credit cards and identification are in your pocket than you lose nothing. Its called a bait purse, give it to them if they want it. You could even put some nasty stuff inside for their enjoyment; what you put in it I'll leave up to you. Just use your imagination, have a little fun with it.
Enjoy shopping, just be careful out there.
Now go read the other safety and securuty tips on this blog to see what to do when you get home with all the goodies.