We are all looking forward to the holiday season, getting together with loved ones and close friends. People will be filling the malls, shopping for that special person and for family. Unfortunately, thieves will be “shopping,” as well, and taking advantage of people who are not aware of their surroundings. So, what can one do to keep the holidays fun for all?
- First, do not carry any more money or charge cards than you need.
- If using the ATM, stand close to it to block your transactions from view.
- If possible, do not carry a purse.
If you are using a purse, please do the following:
- Keep it close to your body, and hold on to it firmly.
- Keep the straps short, as it will keep it close to you.
If being followed, go to an area that is busy, and has several other patrons present. If you are having lunch, place your purse under the table, not looped on the chair. Do not ever leave the purse on a restaurant table, even for a moment. Please do not ask your child to watch your purse. A child cannot stop a purse snatch. Always keep your purse closed, and beware of pickpockets. If you notice someone lurking around who seems to be looking for opportunities, report it to Security.
If you become a victim of a purse snatching, do not fight the person, as they could have a weapon. Try to get a good description of their appearance and which direction they ran. Remember, your purse is not worth your getting injured.
Now, as far as children who are with you while you are shopping, be on the alert for predators. I know that getting distracted while shopping is easy to do, but please keep your kids close. It only takes a moment, (especially in a crowded mall,) and they are gone.
If possible, have someone watch them while you shop, as you will feel better knowing where they are, and your shopping experience will be more enjoyable.
Make the effort to insure your shopping security and the safety of your children, and your holiday will be truly blessed.
By: Jim Doyle, owner of Madison Security Group