Shopping - Street Smarts

  • Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you. Don't daydream.
  • Intuition - feelings you have about someone or some situation - if it does not feel right, you are probably correct.
  • Shop before dark.
  • Lock your car doors and close your windows, even if gone for a short time.
  • Park near lights, select a light to park near even if during the day. You may come back when it is dark.
  • What is parked near your car when you leave to shop? What is parked near it when you come back to it?
  • Have your key ready while approaching your car. Check your car before you get in and use the interior lights. Check under the car. Lock the car after you get in.
  • Use keys as a weapon.
  • Never pick up hitch hikers.
  • Spare money for a taxi.
  • Be cautious in public restrooms and escort small children.
  • Don't wear clothing or shoes that restrict your movement.
  • Don't be vulnerable to purse snatchers by burdening yourself with packages.
  • Don't carry large amounts of cash. Use credit cards and checks. Don't carry excess credit cards. Take only those you need. Protect the credit card numbers from prying eyes. Keep a record of card numbers and emergency telephone numbers in case cards are stolen. Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
  • Carry your purse under your arm and hold the straps. Have a firm grip and carry your wallet in an inside coat pocket.
  • Don't leave your purse in the shopping cart.
  • Teach children to go to a store clerk or security guard when they need help. They should never go to the parking lot alone.
  • Communicate the message that you are calm, confident and you know where you are going. Stand tall, walk purposefully.
  • Make contact with people around you. Greet them.
  • Stick to well-lighted busy streets.
  • Stay on the part of the sidewalk that is farthest away from shrubs, doorways and alleys where people can hide.
  • If you walk, consistently vary your routes. Don't take short cuts.
  • Walk toward traffic so you can see who is approaching you.
  • If you think you are being followed, change directions. If you are being followed go to a police of fire station or convenience store. Don't go home.
  • Keep your car in good working order. Make sure that it has plenty of gas.
  • What should you do if your vehicle becomes disabled? If stranded, wait for the police. Use a Help Call Police sign. Keep money in your glove box or purse for a taxi or to send someone to call the police.
  • Consider a cellular telephone.
  • If confronted yell for help and scream. Tell him "Leave me alone."
  • Consider walking with a friend. There is safety with numbers.
  • Avoid isolated areas when walking.
  • Consider buying a whistle or shriek alarm - mace, keys, etc.
  • Be aware that wearing headphones while walking or jogging decreases your awareness of your surroundings.
  • Don't resist if the attacker only wants your property or has a weapon.