The holiday may be over, but the dangers of thieves lurking amidst the bustling crowds still exist. 1-800-Charity Cars, America’s leading vehicle donation/distribution program, offers you the following shopping safety tips:
- If you are toting a purse or bag, make sure you keep it secure at all times. Never leave your purse in a shopping cart while looking around. In a mere few seconds, a thief can snatch it from your cart. Keep your arm on your purse at all times. A purse with a long strap is your best choice, since you can place the strap over your head and diagonally across your body, which will make it difficult for someone to take it from you. When leaving the store, be sure you put your purse in your car before you unload your purchases. A purse sitting in a shopping cart in a parking lot is a theft waiting to happen. Placing your purse in your vehicle first will help keep it safe, while you unload the items from your cart.
- One of the basic shopping safety tips is to take someone along with you, if possible. Thieves are more likely to approach a person who is shopping solo or walking through a parking lot alone, than someone who has another person or group with them. If you don’t have anyone to go with you, try to park in a well-lit busy area. While in the stores, try to go with the flow of the shopping crowds, rather than away from them. When exiting the stores, try to go out with a large group of other customers, so that there are many people in the parking lot. All of these things will make it safer for you while shopping and returning to your vehicle, whether you are with a friend or alone.
- When you arrive at the store and park your car, make sure you roll up the windows and lock the doors. Also, remove portable GPS units, cell phones, tablets, previous purchases, or any other valuables from view inside your vehicle. Put everything in your trunk, under seats, in the glove compartments, or anywhere else you can hide them from view. Leaving a window down, doors unlocked or anything of value in plain sight is an open invitation for a criminal.
- Stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings. Try to stay off the cell phone and keep your eyes on everyone around you. While walking to your car, be prepared to leave by keeping your keys in your hand as soon as you walk out of a store. Walk with confidence and briskly. Try not to spend too much time moseying throughout a parking lot. Get to your vehicle quickly, load in your items, get in your car, lock the doors immediately and leave. Don’t sit in your car doing anything else, as this just makes you a sitting target to a thief.
- A good rule to follow, when out doing your shopping, is never buy more items than you can easily carry and be cautious of multiple trips to your car. You do not want to be so overloaded with items that you are struggling and unable to maneuver yourself safely, since you will be at a disadvantage to defend yourself if someone did accost you. If you need assistance to get safely to your vehicle, do not hesitate to ask a store employee or security guard for assistance. If you decide to make multiple trips to your car, secure your purchases out of sight and move your vehicle to a different location. Following these few shopping safety tips will ensure that anyone who may be watching you will think you have left and make it less likely that your vehicle will be broken into.
We hope you use these shopping safety tips to keep you and your purchases safe in the future. In our many years of providing free donated vehicles to families in need across the United States, we understand the daily struggles and hardships so many people face. It is often very difficult for people to even afford shopping for basic necessities, so having your items stolen would be devastating. Sometimes while shopping, it is customary that people may become careless or distracted. We here at 1-800 Charity Cars want you all to protect yourselves, your belongings and your purchases from harm and theft with these shopping safety tips.