How to shop safely!

Author : teriann

I recently watched an online news story about robberies caught on surveillance cameras  in several American supermarkets. It showed how easy it was for shoppers to be robbed of their possessions and cash while shopping. The scariest part of the video clips that they showed of the robberies,  was when I  realized that the behaviour of most of the shoppers targeted mirrored my own.

I saw the shoppers who turned away for a few seconds as they were distracted by something on the shelves being robbed without them even knowing what had happened. It was as simple as taking a few steps to retrieve an item or reaching down to pick up something that had fallen and the thieves were ready to pounce.

Local robberies

You might say well we don’t live in America so it’s not as relevant, however if you have seen local news cast in recent months  then it is obvious that those types of crimes are just as prevalent here and we need to be aware of our surroundings.

Some criminals are overt in nature and do not want to be discovered. They sneak in undetected and wait for an opportunity.

These types of thieves can easily be avoided since they do not want to be detected and if you are alert and never leave your belongings unattended, then you have a better chance of escaping their notice.

Be Safe

Besides being alert, it’s also a good idea to keep your handbag on your person instead of putting it in the cart.  Although the cart seems to be handy to rest it, it is also likely that you might walk away and leave the cart, even for a short while.

However keeping your handbag with you is no excuse to leave it open or hold it too far away from your body. It is also important that  if a stranger comes up to you, whether to just make conversation or ask a question, that you look them in the eye and be aware of where your belongings are at all times.

If you have multiple bags, it’s better to make some trips to the car so that you are not struggling to remember to take so many bags with you inside the store.  It is also advised never to walk with large amounts of cash and use your debit or credit card instead.

Robberies – how to keep safe

A lot of robberies happen because someone is waiting for an opportunity for a shopper to be distracted.  Some distractions might even be caused by the robber. In those cases simply raising an alert to store personnel or security will be enough to send those would be robberies on their way.

However what if the robbery is not hidden but you have been physically threatened?

In those cases remain calm, no possession or money is worth your life. Each situation is different, if you can leave the store safely do so but if you have to make a choice between giving up your valuables and staying alive remember that your life is more important.

Of course law enforcement would need to be notified of the incident. In some cases the merchant is also robbed so the matter would be dealt with by the authorities.

So how do you stay safe while shopping? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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