Shopping & Parking Lot Safety Tips
Please follow the guidelines below to keep you and your loved ones safe while shopping and in parking lots:
- Let someone know where you are going and what route you will be taking. Additionally, let them know when you expect to return.
- Always park in well-lit areas.
- Always lock all your doors.
- Remove all items, such as radar detectors, laptops or packages and hide them in the trunk, glove compartment, out of sight.
- Look around the parking lot for suspicious persons before you exit your vehicle.
- Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
- Try to limit the number of credit cards and cash you are carrying while shopping.
- To avoid being a victim of "Identity Theft," be aware of exposing credit cards, debit cards and other identification at the cash register and ATM's. Thieves will utilize cell phones to capture card information without your knowledge.
- Teach your children to stay with you at all times while shopping. They should always check with you or the person in charge before they go anywhere. Always supervise your children in a public facility and accompany young children to the restroom.
- Make a plan in case you become separated. Have older kids meet you in a pre-designated spot (e.g. the sales counter or mall information booth). Teach younger children to look for people who can help within the store or mall - a uniformed security officer, a salesperson with a name tag, a mother with children, and more. They should never leave the store or mall or go to the parking lot to look for you or your car.
- Leave clothing that displays your children's names at home, as it can prompt unwelcome attention from people who may be looking for an opportunity to start a conversation with your children.
- Have older children take a friend, if you allow them to go shopping or to public functions without you. It is more fun and much safer. Older children should check in with you on a regular basis while they are out. Agree on a clear plan for picking them up including: where, what time, and what to do in case of a change in plans.
- When walking in any parking lot, shopping center, etc., walk confidently with your head up, make eye contact and have your keys ready.
- Never leave the store with your arms full of packages. Use a courtesy cart.
- Check the parking lot for suspicious people and look around before you exit the store.
- Check underneath, in front and in back of your car as you approach it.
- Check the front and rear passenger seats inside your car before you enter it.