It’s no longer your “Leave it to Beaver Christmas” time, while it’s still a joyful time of the year, don’t let that deter you from being safe. We all need to remember there could be someone out there looking and waiting for us to be distracted. These days that distraction is most likely coming from our phones, but that isn’t the only distraction.
Now we have complied some tips to consider while you are finishing up for your Christmas shopping. You can take the Marine out of combat, but you can’t take the Marine out of the man. Things learned in service carry with them for a lifetime. Dean sat down for a moment to write up some tips, take a glimpse into what is like shopping with a Marine.
Tips from a Marine:
- Starting with your parking spot, always be aware of your surroundings! We don’t always have a lot of options in busy parking lots, but at least make the effort to park in a well lit area.
- Stow your phone away and have your key fob in hand when coming out of the store. Distracted shoppers are exactly what thieves are looking for in their next victim.
- Pause for a second to check out your surroundings, take notice to people that may look out of place, is there anyone: someone sitting in cars looking a little suspicious, is someone looks like they are not there to shop, or if someone doesn’t appear to be waiting on a loved one to come out of the store. Your intuition may be right about someone, and they may just be waiting on you to deliver your presents. If you have a suspicion, push the panic button and let your vehicle beep several times. Other shoppers may think that you’re being silly but at this point you’re being safe and everyone is looking to your area. Let your car remote act as your bodyguard, especially if you are on a solo shopping excursion.
- Going back into the store is another option if something looks or feels out-of-the-norm. You can always ask for someone to walk you out to the car, especially if you are alone. Don’t think of it as being a hassle, the true hassle would be if you were not cautious and got robbed. Two things can happen in this instance: first and foremost you safely get yourself and presents to the car, and second you allow someone else to do something nice that day making them feel like a hero.
- Ever get a random note or an ad on your windshield after being in the store for awhile. Safety is about being proactive versus reactive, if you see a note on your vehicle don’t automatically stop and look it! Look around you, notice who’s looking, check your surrounding including your vehicle and then make the judgement if it’s a safe time and place to read the note. This tactic of leaving notes on the windshields has been used as a distraction by thieves for years.
- Put all your presents in your trunk and save yourself a busted windshield and heartache. If you have an SUV make sure you pull the cover over so no one can see what’s in the back. Should your vehicle not have a cover, or trunk space is already filled then there is the old fashion method of covering your goodies with an old blanket. At this point you are trying to make it less obvious that you have a car full of presents, and prevent them from seeing exactly what is in the car.
- While spraying mace into the thieves face while singing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”, may seem like a courageous option, it’s probably not the best solution. If you do find yourself in that a compromising position, remember that your life is worth far more than any present. Let them have those presents keeping in mind that the best gift that you can give your friends and family is you being present on Christmas Day. You are irreplaceable!
The best advice you could follow is to go shopping with a friend. By merely adding more people to the situation you are less likely to become a victim. Oh, and it’s typically more fun!