Will you be one of millions of people shopping for Christmas gifts in the upcoming weeks? If so, try to be as aware of your surroundings as possible. Police across the country report higher crime rates at the holidays, and seniors are often the target.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to make your experience as safe as it can be.
- Shop during the day: If possible, stay out of parking lots and stores when it’s dark. If you need to be out at night, park in a well-lit and easily accessible area.
- Keep your car locked: It sounds simple, but an unlocked car is an invitation to thieves trying to open car doors in a parking lot. Also, hide any purchases in your trunk, or bring a towel or blanket to cover them up.
- Keep your purse and wallet secure: Always know where your belongings are. Keep only what you need for shopping that day in a bag or wallet that you can carry on you. And keep it close! Make sure you always know where it is. Try and limit the amount of cash you carry. And keep a record of your credit cards at home in a safe spot, in case one is lost or stolen.
- Be aware of your surrounding: Walk with confidence and purpose! Keep your keys in your hand, ready to unlock, when you’re walking to your car. And try not to be overloaded with bags and packages. They may make you unsteady, and vulnerable to an attack.
Holiday shopping can be fun and enjoyable if you’re prepared! And remember, safety in numbers usually works too. So, bring along a family member, or go with a group of friends.