As we sit here after Thanksgiving, thinking we ate too much — we now start to think about Christmas and the start of the Christmas shopping rush. It begins with Black Friday and continues until the night before Christmas. Let’s take a few minutes to stop and think about our safety.
When we leave to go shopping, there are others out there who are not going to a store to buy their Christmas gifts. They are looking for an easy target to steal from. Take a few minutes and stop and think about not being an easy target.
- When I leave my residence did I check and make sure I have locked the doors and windows? An unlocked door makes it so much easier for a thief to do his or her Christmas shopping in your living room.
- If you take gifts out of the boxes when you return home, conceal the boxes or packaging within garbage bags, rather than placing the packaging in the recycling bin. The packaging, especially for high-ticket items, advertises what is inside your home.
- Make sure gifts and valuables are not in plain view. Close curtains at night.
Many of us do some of our shopping online and have the packages delivered to our homes. If you are not at home when the packages are delivered, they are usually left on your front steps. An unattended package sitting for just a few minutes is an open invitation for thieves to help themselves.
- Modern technology gives us the ability to track our packages and we usually know when they will be delivered. Arrange your schedule to be home when the package is to be delivered.
- Make arrangements with a neighbor you know and trust, and who is going to be home to either have the packages delivered to their home or willing to pick up the packages from your front steps and hold them until you get home.
A lot of us enjoy the hustle and bustle of the shopping experience. We travel to our local shopping mall and find a good central parking spot. We spend the better part of a day going from store to store, finding just the right gifts for everyone on our list. After we make our purchases and do not want to carry them from store to store, we take them out and lock them in our car.
- Remember you are not the only one using the parking lot. The thief is also out there looking for an opportunity to do his or her Christmas shopping. When you store a purchase in your vehicle — remember out of sight is out of mind. Place the packages in the trunk, lock the vehicle, and set the alarm if the vehicle is equipped with one.
- Park in a well-lit area, preferably right next to a parking lot light. This increases the chance of thieves being seen, and they know it.
- Remember your personal safety; be cautious when walking out to your vehicle. Know your surroundings, if something seems wrong, turn around and go back into the store. Have your keys ready. Most of all, there is nothing worth getting hurt for. Any item can be replaced, getting hurt can really dampen or ruin your Christmas.