As you map out your shopping strategy for later today or “Black Friday,” law enforcement officials suggest you include a safety plan to make sure you – and all your holiday goodies – make it home.
Here are some tips from the York County Sheriff’s Office to help reduce your risk of becoming a victim:
• Lock your car. So far in 2013 the sheriff’s office has investigated 492 automobile break-ins; 341 of those vehicles were left unlocked.
• Don’t leave packages in sight. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.
• Try to park close to the store and in well-lit areas. When walking through a parking lot, keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings.
• Don’t buy more than you can carry. Ask a store employee to help you carry packages to your car.
• Shop with a friend. He or she can help carry packages and be a second pair of eyes walking to and from stores.
• Deter pickpockets. Keep your purse closed and near your body. Carry wallets in your front pocket.
• Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
• Leave the children at home. Small children could get knocked down by fast-moving adults or get separated from you.
• If you must shop with children, make a plan in case you get separated. Select a central meeting place and make sure they know they can ask mall or store security employees if they need help.
• Make sure your phone is charged. Having your cellphone charged on Black Friday is important as you can easily get lost from your friends.
• Don’t post details of your shopping trip on social media. Posting that you will be away from your home for several hours could tell a “friend” or a “friend of a friend,” who just might pay your house an unwelcome visit.