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Valentine One Radar Detector

Eric
12-31-2008, 10:13 AM
This time of year is always prime season for robberies and muggings...especially outside retail outlets where holiday season shoppers can be expected to be bearing gifts of money and valuable items.

Especially this season as the economy is slowing and jobs are getting scarce. Desperate times often lead to desperate measures for those who have fallen on hard times.

That means being prepared. Having the right tools available for self defense is only one part of the equation. Self defense tools are not magic talismans.

Some tips in that regard:

Be aware of your surroundings at all times; don't let anyone "sneak up" on you.

Don't overburden yourself with packages or bags that would make it difficult to defend yourself if accosted; if you have a large number of packages to get to your vehicle, use a cart or ask store employees for assistance.

Avoid shopping alone, especially at night.

Avoid isolated or dark parking areas or areas that are obscured from public view.

Avoid parking next to large vehicles (especially vans) and if a large vehicle parks next to yours while you are shopping, either wait for it to leave, or take precautions: Get a store employee to escort you to your vehicle, approach very cautiously and circle the area to look for anything suspicious or out of the ordinary. If in doubt, be patient and wait for the large vehicle to leave. A few minutes of your time is much less important than your safety or your life.

Approach your vehicle with keys out and ready to use. Avoid fumbling through pockets or purse for keys while in the parking lot. Your attention will be distracted and you will be vulnerable to attack.

if possible load your packages into the trunk before entering the vehicle. Pay attention while unloading packages, this is the time that you will tend to be the most distracted and vulnerable.

Once you enter the vehicle, lock the doors immediately.

A fairly recent ploy of which you should be aware: The criminals will place a piece of paper in your front or rear windshield in the hopes that you will not notice it until you are in the vehicle. They wait for you to notice the obstruction (often after having already started the car). When you open the door to remove it, they assault you and steal the car and its contents. If you notice a piece of paper obstructing your view DO NOT stop to remove it. Leave the parking lot and find a populated, well lit place to do so.

I'm sure there are many more tips that I'm not thinking of. Feel free to leave them in comments but the key is common sense and situational awareness. Do not allow yourself to become distracted from what is going on around you, be aware, be prepared and be safe.