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Though most people are full of the holiday spirit and good will this time of year, criminals look for the opportunity to take advantage. Marcia Peot, chief safety officer for StreetSafe, offers these holiday shopping safety reminders.
For extra-safe brick-and-mortar shopping:
Use the buddy system and shop with a friend. You are more likely to become a target if you are alone.
Park your car in a well-lit area and keep track of where it's parked. This will get you in your car and on your way faster.
Be careful what you post online. Don't alert others that you aren't at home.
Consolidate packages so you're a less desirable target for criminals looking to steal your belongings.
Wear your purse across the body to keep your hands free for your keys, both when heading to your car and into your home.
Hide purchases from view in your parked car to prevent breakins.
Be just as vigilant about your surroundings during the daylight hours. A crime can occur at any time.
Take extra precautions. For example, StreetSafe is a new mobile personal security system that uses your smart phone's GPS technology to connect to help instantly, before a situation turns into an emergency. Street Safe's "Walk With Me" service offers a live connection to a professional safety advisor to keep you safe when walking in unfamiliar or threatening surroundings and provides instant access to 911 if needed.
Stay alert while you are walking to your car. Talking or texting on your phone or digging in your purse for your keys while walking is a distraction and makes you an easy target.
Check the back seat for potential criminals before getting back in your car. Carry your keys in your hand while you are walking toward your vehicle, and pick a parking space that's easy to back out of so that you can leave the parking lot quickly.
Ask to have your packages delivered. Though this costs a little, you won't have to deal with the hassle of carrying your things to the car and then unloading them when you get home. Women carrying a lot of packages are often targets for criminals because such shoppers are distracted and not as mobile.