Someone sent me an article two days ago via email about an shopper in a well known store's parking lot. It was meant to be a heads up and I appreciated it, however, I have seen too many articles in my local newspaper regarding the same thing to be surprised by the passed along article. But I thought to pass on the information in the event it might help someone who hasn't read it yet.
It, the article, was about shoppers(almost always women, as they are such traditionally easy targets), who are robbed as they walk to their cars after shopping in a well known discount store. It can certainly happen in ANY parking lot. Just in this case, it seems the papers are full of this particular place probably because its parking lot is so big and holds many cars and places to hide.
Many times it is elderly women that are victimized, or the infirm...folks on walkers, in wheelchairs or just not too aware of their surroundings.
That is the key. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. The days of relative safety are gone now. Have been gone for some time. Dr-ug tra-fficking is rampant and these people are desperate. So they look for the pushover to steal from. Dr-ugs certainly aren't the only reason but it would appear from what I have read, it has become the main component to these crimes. Times have changed, people. You aren't safe in a store, the parking lot, your car, or your own home if you will reference the rising home invasion robberies (KEEP YOUR DOORS LOCKED EVEN WHEN YOU ARE HOME) and car hijackings. The interim solution is to be aware and take precautions.
I have read over and over...try not to look the part of a victim. Be aware. Walk with purpose. Look around. Keep your purse close to your body. Don't have all your money and credit cards and personal information in the same place. If you are physically challenged, try to have a companion with you if you can. Or, failing that, go in the daylight hours if at all possible. Common sense measures such as having your keys out as you walk to your car..making a visual sweep of the area as you approach your vehicle.. along with turning around and leaving if you feel uneasy. Go back to the store. Ask for an escort. They will find someone to assist you, be assured.
It's a shame to have to do all that and a shame that I for one have come to carrying just a credit card, my drivers license and some cash in a small leather case that slips into my front jeans pocket when I go shopping. Nothing there to grab that way. And, don't leave your purse unattended... even right next to you in one of those carts store provide. The incidence of theft is huge when you do that. I see reports every single day of women who were standing right next to the grocery cart..hand ON the cart with their purse in the top section. Someone takes the purse anyway and disappears before the victim can turn back. By then it is too late. Don't give them that chance. Hang it over your shoulder and keep a hand on it or do what I do; carry your money/card in your pocket.
I walk like the wind and my background and training helps me enormously. I am observant. But not everyone looks at things the way I do, nor does my situation make me safe. It doesn't. But it does make me a little less vulnerable.
I thought I would make this blog today. If the carrying your money and credit card idea helps you to be less approachable by someone with bad intent, I'll be glad.