The holiday shopping season is here! Whether you love the bargain shopping high of Black Friday or visiting the mall during the holidays, it’s always nice to get out and find something for your family and friends.
However, with all of the hustle and bustle, it increases the chance of potential thieves out there looking to take advantage of the situation. One of the biggest ways to avoid becoming a victim is situational awareness. Know what’s going on around you and know what to do in an emergency. So before you go out with your large shopping list, keep some these tips in mind to make you a hard target:
- Pay attention to where you park. If you know you will be out late, park in a well lit area. When approaching your car, have your keys out and ready and look around you to make sure you’re not being watched or followed. If you feel like you are being followed, make sure you go towards a crowded area and you can even use your keys as a potential self defense tool by having your keys in between your knuckles like Wolverine.
- Don’t leave items or bags out in the open like in the front or back seats of your car. Be sure to keep them out of sight like in the trunk. This may be an obvious one, but you’ll be surprised how many people still don’t follow this rule of thumb.
- Be aware of your surroundings and know what is happening around you, especially in crowded areas where there might be someone looking to steal your wallet without you noticing. Avoid keeping things in your back pockets and move your purse to the front so it’s within eye view.
- Pay attention and look alert! Keep your head up and be confident. Don’t daydream and avoid walking with your head down looking at your phone.
- Try not to overload yourself with bags and always have one hand free. You may be more vulnerable if your arms are full of shopping bags and unable to defend yourself in an emergency.
- Buddy systems are the best so shop with a friend or relative. It’s more enjoyable and thieves are less likely to strike when people are in groups.
By utilizing these tips, you’ll make sure you and your family are hard targets while you're out doing your Christmas shopping. If you feel like you are being followed or may be in harm’s way, aim towards walking in crowds and notifying the nearest security official who can help walk you to your car. At Hard Target we focus on keeping our communities safe. We wish everyone a safe and happy holidays!