Tips for Safe Shopping in the Final Week Before Christmas
The Montgomery County Police Department offers these tips to stay safe.
In the last few days before Christmas, last minute shoppers are sure to be out in full force this week. Countywide officers are detailed to shopping areas providing high visibility, extra security, and reminders about driving and pedestrian safety. Westfield Wheaton has hired additional security guards and traffic directors for the parking lot.
- Stay alert and be aware of everything around you at all times, whether your'e waiting for a bus or the subway, in an office building or shopping mall, or on the street. Don't be too distracted by your shopping.
- If driving, park in well-lit spaces and as close to the mall or store as possible.
- Lock your car doors, and hide packages in the trunk on under seats. Theft from vehicle is the most common crime in Montgomery County.
- Carry only small amounts of cash and pay with a check or credit card, if possible.
- Make sure that you are not overloaded with a large number of packages and shopping bags. Make trips back to the car to stow them in the trunk as you continue to shop.
- Carry your closed purse as close to your body as possible, not dangling by the straps.
- Carry a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
- Walk with confidence and know where you are going.
- Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave.
- Stick to well-lit and well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys.
- Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door.
- If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street, and walk toward an open store, restaurant, or lit house.
The department recommends that if someone tries to rob you, don't resist and endanger your life. Report the crime as soon as possible and try to describe the attacker.