1. When shopping, always keep your doors locked and ALL valuables hidden from view preferably locked away in your trunk.
2. NEVER leave your purse in your vehicle.
3. If possible, secure your vehicle with an additional steering wheel lock (i.e. “The Club”).
4. If you use a wireless device to open and lock your car doors, make sure you check the vehicle before you walk away. Sometimes people THINK they locked their car doors but they did not.
5. Make sure your trunk lid is secured/shut. Often people hit the wrong button when trying to lock their car doors and the driver actually hits the TRUNK RELEASE button instead. Criminals often cruise shopping malls looking for open trunks knowing people secure their valuables and gifts in the trunks.
6. Another problem relating to trunks is that some people often leave their keys in the trunk when putting their newly purchased gifts in the trunk for safe keeping. This could result in your gifts being taking as well as your vehicle. Check behind yourself when putting things in your trunk to make sure you have your keys.
7. As you walk to and from your car make sure you keep the keys in your hands to be used as a defense weapon in the event someone tries to rob or assault you. Additionally, if you have the wireless remote for your vehicle door locks in your hand, keep your finger on the PANIC button in case you are approached by a stranger or someone intends to rob or assault you.
8. Prior to entering your vehicle make sure you look in the back seat area and the floorboard to make sure no one is hiding INSIDE your vehicle.
9. Remember, try and park in a well lighted area for added security.
10. Try to shop in pairs (with a friend or family member) for added security.
11. Lock your car doors upon re-entry into your vehicle.
12. Never roll down your vehicle windows if someone approaches your vehicle even if the person says they are lost or wants to ask you a question.
13. If you have a cellular phone available ASSIGN a SPEED DIAL for 911 and have your finger on that button for quick dialing. Even if you cannot talk after dialing 911, remember the operator can still hear what is going on. Remember to talk out load giving the operating information as to where you are located and to give the operator an idea what is going on.
14. Remember to always glance at your vehicle/car tires prior to entering your car (if possible). Criminals have been known to let the air out of people’s car tires and upon your return someone is likely to approach you and tell you your tire is flat. This person may offer to assist you in some way. Be careful, this is a criminal tactic to where they are about to make you the victim of a robbery, assault, carjacking, etc. Remember to keep you keys available as a weapon, or have your finger on the car’s wireless entry device PANIC BUTTON, or dial 911 on your cellular phone and ask for help.
15. Make sure you keep plenty of gas in your vehicle.
16. When needing CASH from a teller machine, make sure you go to the teller machine during DAY-LIGHT hours. If possible, go to teller machines where you do not have to exit your vehicle to get the money. Try to get the money from a teller machine when you have another person with you to help watch your surrounding and for added protection. Try to pull your vehicle close as possible to the teller machine to prevent a criminal from easily getting to you. Remember to lock all your car doors PRIOR to getting to the teller machine. If possible, DO NOT put your vehicle in park while at the teller machine if you are using the teller machine you access from within your vehicle. If you keep the vehicle in drive BUT with your foot on the brake you can easily and quickly drive off if someone approaches you or tries to rob you.
17. When shopping, do not carry a lot of gifts or items with you at one time. Make trips to your car frequently and put the items in your trunk.
18. If possible, use credit or debit cards to purchase your gifts so you do not have to carry a lot of cash. If possible, only carry and use ONE credit card for your purchases. Do not carry cash and credit cards in the same location. Ladies should not carry anything in their purse that they would not want someone else to have should their purse get stolen. Ladies, if you are wearing pants with pockets carry your credit card and ID in your pockets so you do not have to constantly open your purse up, and try to carry cash in your pants pocket and not in your purse. Ladies, remember to not carry ALL your credit cards with you and leave your social security card at home. If you use checks for your purchases, make sure you safeguard the checkbook especially if you have your phone number and address printed on the checks. Also, DO NOT carry your credit card, social security card, and driver license inside of your checkbook.
19. If possible, mail ALL your holiday cards or letters at the post office or at a BLUE postal mailbox that is usually located throughout the town. Many people now mail cards or letters with checks or money/gift cards. When using YOUR mailbox criminals ride around looking for the mailboxes with the FLAG UP (where you are using the FLAG to tell the postal person you have mail for pick-up). Criminals will then steal your mail looking for the gift cards and other valuables. Use the BLUE mail drop-boxes to mail your letters, cards, and gifts or stop by the post office instead. Your letters, cards, and gifts will have a greater chance at getting to their destination if this is done.