Well, it’s that time of year again. Television advertisements have decided to skip Thanksgiving and shoot straight for the day after, also known as Black Friday -- supposedly the biggest shopping day of the year. It’s also the time of year when criminals come out in force to prey upon shoppers. And they won’t stop at Black Friday. No, their efforts will continue all the way through Christmas. So, I thought I might stray from romance topics momentarily and offer some safety tips for those who will be braving the crowds and wish to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of such characters.
- First and foremost, don’t leave any valuables in your car. Some criminals simply troll through parking lots, peering into windows, and break into those vehicles with valuables left out in plain view. (There is usually at least one news segment a year in which police officers lead reporters through a parking lot and point out the purses, phones, iPods, laptops, etc. that are visible in parked cars, making them more likely to be broken into.)
- Don’t leave your purse unattended in your shopping cart, even if the cart is only a few feet away. That purse can be taken in the blink of an eye.
- When walking to your car in the parking lot, leave your cell phone in your purse and stay vigilant. Examine your surroundings constantly. Purse snatchers are less likely to single you out if you appear alert because they can’t catch you off guard. Someone who is busy talking on the phone or texting is more likely to be caught unawares and makes a far more appealing target.
- Continue to observe your surroundings while you load your packages into your vehicle. Be aware of everyone around you so no one can sneak up behind you. And don’t leave your purse in the cart while you unload it.
- Once you arrive home, keep an eye out for suspicious characters loitering about as you pull into your driveway. Most homeowners use electric door openers now. When you pull into your garage, stay vigilant until that door is all the way down. I’ve seen news reports in which homeowners were robbed by criminals who ducked into the garage just before the door closed. So . . .
- Always, always be alert!
Well, those are the basics. I hope this will prove helpful to you. If you'd like to receive a cover flat of Darkness Dawns, just leave a comment and email me your address.
Have a safe holiday weekend!