Here’s Some Tips From Lafayette Police On Staying Safe While Shopping
Whether it’s on Thanksgiving or the day after, thousands of people in Acadiana will hit their local small businesses and larger retail outlets to begin their Christmas shopping this week.
The Lafayette Police Department has several suggestions on how to make your shopping experience a safe one.
Lafayette Police suggest you:
- Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
- Shop with a friend, there is safety in numbers.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Pay for purchases with a check, credit or debit card.
- If possible, carry only your driver’s license, personal checks, or necessary credit or debit cards.
- If you must carry a purse, do not wrap the straps around your arms or shoulders. Carry it by clutching the purse tightly under your arm or wear a fanny pack.
- Do not carry a wallet in a back pocket. It should be placed in a front pocket of your pants for safety.
- Be alert that crooks look for the “high dollar” shopping bags with your purchases. When possible, slip bags/purchases in a plain nondescript bag.
- Watch purchases while eating in mall food courts; bags can easily be switched or taken.
- Educate your children about what to do if they are lost as well as “Stranger Danger”.
- Don’t overburden yourself with too many packages. Use store’s package pick-up.
- Have your car keys ready in hand before leaving the store.
- If you do return to your vehicle to unload purchases, place them in the trunk of the vehicle.
- Try not to shop until the store closes. Remember, fewer people are present at this time.
Holiday Crime Prevention Tips In Parking Lots:
- Shop early and leave early to avoid evening darkness.
- Park in a high visibility area and check for lighting in case you leave during hours of darkness.
- Do not park next to a vehicle with dark tinted windows.
- Prior to arriving at the shopping center, lock all your valuables in the trunk of your vehicle.
- Leave the store with others, not alone.
- Ask security to escort you to your vehicle if you feel uncomfortable.
- Walk briskly, confidently, and directly through the parking lot. Be cautious of people handing out fliers or asking questions in the parking area.
- Watch for people who may be following you. This can occur inside as well as outside. If you suspect someone following you, report it to security immediately.
Holiday Crime Prevention Tips At Home:
- Keep the outside of your home well lit with doors locked and window curtains closed.
- Don’t display gifts beneath the Christmas tree that can be seen from windows or doors.
- After the holidays, don’t advertise gifts received by the boxes left for the garbage collection. Destroy boxes and place in a sealed, non-clear garbage bag.
- In addition to the tips, the Lafayette Police Department will have additional patrols working the retail areas and enforcing Handicap Parking violations.
Citizens are reminded to report all suspicious persons or situations by calling 911.