Busy Stores And Busy Thieves: Keeping Safe During The Holidays

Safety experts say this is the time of year that you are more likely to be a target of criminals.

Monday, December 4th 2023, 9:36 pm



Christmas is fast approaching, and stores are bustling with people working to cross gifts off their shopping lists.

Safety experts say this is the time of year that you are more likely to be a target of criminals.

FBI stats show more than 800 robberies last year happened on the street, in convenience stores, parking garages, and department stores.

A robber's number one weapon is the element of surprise, so it's important to run scenarios through your head before you leave the house.

It's hard to recognize a threat ahead of time, but self-defense teacher Craig Blacklock says to trust your gut.

"If you don't feel right about something or something doesn’t look right, then you’re right," said Craig.

He says being prepared is your best weapon.

"Always be vocal. Never be afraid of being vocal, he said. "Bad guys don't want to take a lot of time, and they don't want to draw attention."

One mom already knows what she would do in that situation.

"Scream for sure, of course, try to protect her," she said, referring to her daughter. "I always carry my keys, and I've also learned to carry them like this so that you have a weapon even if you can't get to a concealed carry if you carry, so yeah, I would also be as prepared as I can be. I'm also pretty loud."

Craig says another way to draw attention is to carry a flashlight.

"Who wants to walk up to somebody that’s prepared enough to walk out with a flashlight?” he said. “That sounds so silly, but you ask most police officers, and this is as important as their gun."

Another piece of advice: call a friend or loved one while you're walking to your car.

"If you’re on the phone talking to somebody and people see that, that’s probably not somebody someone wants to attack because now there’s a third party that knows what’s going on," Craig said.

Other things Craig recommends are to back into a parking space to see the whole area you're about to walk to, don't wear designer bags, and try to avoid wearing high heels.

If you witness a robbery, call 911, then if you're able to safely do so record video of the incident that police could use. 

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