Stay Safe During The Holiday Shopping Season
The holiday season is always filled with holiday shopping, and unfortunately a lot of crime and vandalism happens during this time of year. Mall and shopping center parking lots are prime targets for car theft and robberies.
To help prevent this from happening to you, Anderson Behel is providing some helpful Holiday Shopping Safety Tips to keep you and your car safe and secure during the holiday season.
Holiday Shopping and Driving Safety Tips
- Always park in a spot where there is plenty of light and if possible, park close to your destination.
- Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.
- Close all windows and lock all doors.
- Take note of where you parked your car and what store entrance it is closest to.
- Shop with a friend or family member - having a friend walk to and from the parking lot with you will help keep you both safe and sound.
- Place your packages in your trunk or under your seat where no one can see them.
- Condense your packages into one or two bags to create the illusion that you did not purchase so many valuable (and theft-worthy) items.
- If you run out to your car to drop off packages while shopping, make sure to move your car to a new location before heading back into the mall. This will help lead anyone that is watching you to believe that you and your packages have headed home for the night.
- Leave your most expensive purchases until the end of the day when you can quickly hop in your car and go directly home.
- Request for a security guard to escort to your car.
- When walking to your car have your head up and your keys ready, the last thing you want to do is appear vulnerable to criminals. In addition, make sure to look under and in front of your car to make sure that no one is waiting to attack you.
- Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Often thieves will disguise themselves as normal shoppers who accidentally bump into you stealing your purse, wallet, packages, car keys or even worse, attacking you.
- When entering your car, make sure to check your front seat and back seat for anyone that could potentially be hiding in the car.
- Get into the car, lock the doors and exit the area immediately. Criminals prey on shoppers who sit in their cars to make phone calls or review their purchases for the day. Don't leave yourself susceptible to such a risk.
What Your Auto Insurance Coverage Won't Cover
Through the course of a shopping day, many people will take packages to and from their car to lessen the load while they are walking through the mall. Even though this may seem like a great idea at the time, it is not if the gifts are stolen from your car. That's because many auto insurance company will not cover holiday packages stolen from a policy holder's car - even if they were securely stored in your trunk. However, if you paid for your gifts with a credit card you might be in luck! Some credit card companies will cover stolen purchases if they were paid for with their credit card, but if you paid with cash or check, you are out of luck.
Regardless of how you paid for your gifts, you should always file a police report to help alert police of the incident and to potentially prevent this crime from happening to someone else.
Sources: AAA and NHTSA