Holiday Shopping Safety

The holidays season is upon us again. Please refer to the safety tips below to help make your shopping experiences safe and enjoyable.

In the Parking Lot

  • When parking - roll up the windows, ensure your valuables are out of sight, lock the car, and take your keys. During evening hours park in well-lit areas.
  • Avoid parking next to vans, campers, or vehicles with dark window tint.
  • When returning to your car - be alert of your surroundings, have your keys in hand, unlock the door, and enter as quickly as possible. Drive away immediately; do not sit in your car and make phone calls or review your purchases.
  • Return to the store if you see suspicious activity in the area of your car.
  • Try to avoid loading items in your trunk and returning to the stores to continue shopping. If you do, consider moving your vehicle to another location so that it appears that you have left to go home.
  • Carry a whistle or use the panic button on your remote to alert others if you encounter a dangerous situation.

While Shopping

  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and valuables. Use credit cards and debit cards when possible.
  • There is safety in numbers - shop with friends when possible.
  • Keep your purse and valuables close to your side. Never leave your purse unattended in a shopping car or on a counter.
  • Consolidate your purchases into a small number of bags. Do not make it appear that you have purchased a large number of items.
  • Save valuable purchases until the end of your shopping trip.
  • Be alert in crowded or jammed areas. Crowded aisles, elevators, escalators, and revolving doors are pick-pocket's favorite locations.
  • Report suspicious activity to a store clerk or security guard.

At ATMs and Banks

  • Scan the area before getting out of your car. If someone is loitering go to another ATM.
  • Use drive-up windows whenever possible.
  • Use only well-lit ATMs during evening hours.
  • Stand so that those behind you cannot see your PIN as you enter it.

Child Safety

  • Leave children with a babysitter while shopping. Consider making reciprocal arrangements with friends and relatives.
  • If you take your children shopping, keep a close eye on them at all times. Keep younger children in strollers.
  • Make sure children understand to go to a store clerk or security guard in the event you are separated. Make sure they know their full name and your full name. Consider placing a note with your cell phone number in their pocket.

If You Suspect You Are Being Followed

  • On foot - cross the street, change direction, and/or vary your pace. Proceed to a well populated area as soon as possible.
  • In your car - stay on main roads, make a few right turns when possible. Get the license plate number and description of the car. Proceed to a busy public location such as a store, police station, etc.

Please act responsibly. The life you save may be your own or that of a loved one!