The holidays are a busy time and as everyone rushes around trying to get a million things done; we let our guards down. Buying gifts, decorating homes and offices, planning parties, booking travel arrangemens and often out shopping and dining after dark, can be dangerous.
Millions of people come to Short Hills, NJ to visit our fabulous Mall at Short Hills for Christmas and Hannukah shopping and we all need to be careful and focused in the stores and in the parking lots.
Historically, this is a time of year when a lot of robberies occur. The economy is stuggling and criminals seem to come out of the woodwork to steal purses, break into cars, rob houses and rip off your credit card. With all the excitement of the holiday season it is easy to miss an extra charge on your statement . The message here is to be on high alert and take extra precautions, to avoid being a victim.
A few years ago, as reported in The Item, a thief stole a generator from the OUTSIDE of someone’s Short Hills’ home. We have heard stories of delivery people coming to the front door with flowers or plants saying they need a signature. DON’T OPEN THE DOOR. Tell them to leave the package outside and you will get it later. It goes without saying that babysitters must be told DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR FOR ANYONE!
Here are a list of tips to follow while out and about, shopping and at home. You’ve probably heard most of them before from a police officer or in an email, but it can’t hurt to be reminded, and to share these with friends and family.
1. ALWAYS zip your purse and hold it close to your body. Empty out what you do not need while shopping so there is less to lose. If possible, take only the credit card you need, and keep it in a zippered pouch close to your body where someone cannot bump into you and scan it right out of your wallet. (Yes there are scanners that will copy your credit card numbers without every touching the card.)
2. Do not go shopping without charging your cell phone. You may need it to call 911 and it is always best to shop with a friend, in daylight, than to go at alone at night.
3. When you are walking to your car, have your keys out of your purse, in your hand, ready to open the door. No last minute fumbling in your bag while outside. If you are parked next to a big van, you may want to get help from a security guard, before getting into your car. Don’t waste time putting things in your trunk, get your packages into the car with you quickly, and then LOCK YOUR DOORS.
4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and sit checking email or listening to voicemail. DO NOT DO THIS. Predators will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, and put a gun to your head.
Update your facebook status later and GO!