PALMDALE — Residents can take a number of steps to help protect themselves from becoming victims of crime while shopping, tips offered by Palmdale’s Public Safety Department as part of a series of informational videos during Public Safety Month in March.
One common mistake shoppers make is staring at their phones as they cross the parking lot toward their cars, packages in hand, instead of being aware of their surroundings, Palmdale Sheriff’s Station Deputy Jeff Grussing said in the video.
Instead, shoppers should put their phones away and keep their heads up, looking around to see if anyone is following, he said.
If someone suspects they are being followed, it’s best to turn around and go back inside the business. If they still feel unsafe, they can call the Sheriff’s Station non-emergency number at 661-272-2400 or 911 if it’s an emergency, he said.
Being aware of your surroundings is also a tool if someone does approach and rob a shopper, because they may be able to identify the culprit. Seeing someone approach may also thwart a potential robbery, by making eye contact or otherwise addressing them and causing them to look for a less-aware victim.
“Even something as simple as smiling at them could possibly thwart them,” Grussing said.
Once you have bags or other valuables, don’t leave them visible in your car, but instead keep them stashed out of sight in a locked trunk and lock the car, as well.
For shoppers visiting multiple stores at a place such as a mall, in which you are placing bags in your car in between stops, it’s a good idea to also move your car, maybe to a closer entrance to your next store, so anyone watching may believe you have left and are no longer a potential target.
While shopping, if you are carrying a purse, try to have something small, with basic necessities, that you can carry close to you and not be juggling with other bags.
Even if you are carrying only a wallet, you can better protect yourself if you carry it in a front pocket instead of in back, where it may be targeted by pickpockets, Grussing said.
Palmdale’s Public Safety Department will continue its Public Safety Month activities with a public forum from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Legacy Commons for Active Seniors, 930 East Ave. Q-9. Ages 13 and older are invited and the forum will feature information and signups for youth programs will be available. For questions, call Palmdale Public Safety at 661-267-5170.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.