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Drew: Mall Parking and Shopping Safety during the Holidays

By Samuetta Hill Drew

With Black Friday on the horizon and stores starting their 2019 sales early because of the short shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, this topic is one worthy of review again because usually very smart and alert shoppers often lower their guard when searching for just the right gift or bargain, making them more careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crimes. Therefore, one can never be too careful, too prepared or too alert.
Below is a suggested list of safety tips for holiday shopping you and your family or friends may wish to practice:

  • Shop during the day versus at night. If you must shop at night, shop with someone else.
  • Make sure you park in a well-lighted area when shopping at night.• When shopping during the day, pay close attention to the parking lot markers so you remember exactly where you parked versus wandering around the parking lot/deck with packages looking for your car.

    • Park as close to your destination as possible.

    • When leaving or approaching your car pay attention to your surroundings. Mall parking lots and decks are potentially the most dangerous places when shopping.

    • Try to avoid parking beside vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.

    • Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running.

    • Keep all your car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Remember to set your alarm or your anti-theft device.

    • Do not leave packages or any valuables visible inside your car on your seats. It’s best to place them inside your truck or put them somewhere out of sight.
    This is tempting to a thief searching to do their holiday shopping out of your and other cars.

    • Make sure you locate your car keys prior to walking to your car.

    • Keep a secure hold on your purse and/or packages. Do not place them down or on top of your car in order to open your car door.

    • If you feel uncomfortable walking to your car alone ask for mall or store security to accompany you to your car.

    • Avoid using restrooms that are tucked in the back away from the main mall area.

    • Don’t overload yourself with packages. Thieves are always on the lookout for people who might appear to be distracted. Keep up with your packages and
    try to stay off your cell phone.

    • Identify where your closest exits are located just in case of a fire or other emergencies. Remember not to use the elevator in an emergency.

    These are a few safety tips to help Keep an Eye on Safety while mall shopping for those perfect gifts, because crime doesn’t take a holiday.