SHOPPING SAFETY TIPS
JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
• Dress for Shopping
o Wear comfortable clothing with a number of pockets. You can carry your money, ID and credit cards in your pocket.
o Avoid flashy jewelry whether it is real or costume.
o Comfortable shoes are a must.
• Avoid Purses and Wallets
o Leave your hands free to deal with kids and packages, etc. Definitely avoid shoulder purses of any kind. If you must carry a purse, carry a short strap hand held purse. Carry only the essentials in your small purse or fanny pack that you can keep close to your body.
o Instead of a wallet, secure your cash in a money clip in your front pocket. If you must carry a wallet, wear snug fitting pants or carry it in your coat breast pocket so that you would feel if someone tried to steal it out of your pocket.
• Cash, Checks, Credit Cards
o Carry cash in denominations no larger than a $20.00 bill. If your bank gives you larger denominations, have them exchange it before you leave.
o Carry your cash in various locations on your body such as pockets, socks, bras, etc. Never pull all of your cash out at once.
o If you carry a check book, make sure that you keep up with the check numbers and the recipients. This will assist you in cancelling your checks.
o Carry only the credit cards that you need while you are shopping. Always log your credit card numbers with the 800 numbers and keep them in a safe place or e-mail them to yourself and file the information in an electronic folder just in case you have to cancel them.
• Lock Your Vehicle Doors At All Times
o Most vehicles with electric door locks can be set to stay locked when you put your car in parkinstead of it automatically unlocking.
• Parking Lot Etiquette
o Drive around a parking lot and make sure that there are no suspicious activities going on before you park.
o If you are going to be returning to your vehicle after dark, park in a well lit area.
o Landmark yourself so you can return to your vehicle easily.
o Have everything in your hands before you get out of your vehicle.
o Look around to see if it is safe to exit.
o Exit quickly, lock your door and proceed to your destination.
o Keep your keys in your hand in case you have to use them as a defense weapon.
o Walk in the center of the drive. If a vehicle approaches, step to the driver’s side of the approaching vehicle and let it pass. Then return to the center of the drive. If someone is crouched down behind a parked vehicle, this action would make them run to you instead of you going near them.
o Make good eye contact with people and issue a verbal acknowledgment. This lets the potential attacker know that you have seen them and may possibly recognize them again.
• When Returning to Your Vehicle
o Have your keys in hand, quickly enter into your vehicle and leave.
o DO NOT sit and arrange packages, make phone calls or put on make-up. This allows a potential attacker time to approach you.
• Entering Into Your Vehicle
o Do not activate your remote keyless entry until you are even with the back of your vehicle. If done any sooner, someone could enter into your vehicle before you do.
• If You Are Attacked
o Do not resist. There is nothing in your packages, purse or wallet that is worth your life.
o If you are forced into a physical confrontation to protect yourself or others, scream to call attention to yourself.
• Physical Defense
o You can use your keys or thumbs to gouge the attacker’s eyes
o Use the heel of your hand to jam the attacker’s nose or adam’s apple
o Knee the groin area or stomp down on top of the attacker’s foot. The purpose of these defense tactics is to stun your attacker so that you may make a quick escape.
• Describe You Attacker
o Race, gender, height, weight, identifying features such as scars, marks, tattoo's and other oddities, glasses, clothing (particularly pants and shoes), vehicle descriptions and direction of travel.
• Strength in Numbers
o Shop with others. If you are by yourself and feel apprehensive about returning to a parking lot, ask for an escort from security or a store manager.
• Do Not Leave Valuables Visible in Your Vehicle
o Cash, purses, coins, jewelry, cell phones, camera's, backpacks, GPS systems and laptop computers are very popular items.
• Make Sure That You Are Not Followed
o If you think that you are being followed…DO NOT DRIVE HOME!
o Call 911 on your cell phone, know your location and remain on the phone.
o If you do not have a cell phone, drive around until you see a Police Officer or go through a fast food drive thru window (one that is clear) and ask the clerk to get a description of the vehicle if they can and call the Police for you.
• Always See That No One Enters Your Garage
o Exit your vehicle only after you know that things are secure.
• 911 is a Free Call on Your Cell Phone
o Even cell phones with no data service can be used to call 911. Keep a cell phone charged and with you if at all possible.
11/21/2019 8:37 AM
Crystal Holmes, PIO