{VIDEO} The Ugly Truth about the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner. We prepare with our shopping list… what to buy… who to buy for… but, are you prepared for the “ugly” truth about the holidays?

I know to some this might seem a little dark and Grinch like but we have to face the truth of “what could happen” to any one of us during the happiest time of the year.

The holidays have a tendency to bring out the best in most but it also brings out the worst in others. Why is that? -work, finances, family issues, drugs, over-drinking… the list varies from person to person and crime to crime.

Malls during the holiday season are a hot area of possible crimes. Being aware of your surroundings and preparing for the “what if’s” is a huge factor in not becoming a victim.

Here are a few strategies to help reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

-cell phones: Ensure that the battery stays charged and program emergency numbers for quick access

-parking: When arriving into a mall or similar complex try to park in a well-lit area, also consider backing into the space. Try to avoid parking next to vans or large trucks and be cautious when returning to your vehicle.

-walking to/from your vehicle: Try to stay in the center of the access way if traffic permits. This will give you more reaction time. When in an angled parking lot, walk with the direction of the traffic flow in the lot, enabling you to see between parked vehicles. Once inside your vehicle lock all the doors and consider keeping the windows rolled up. Do not make phone calls / text or do anything that would distract you while in the parking spot.

-being followed: If you think you are being followed, instead of going home, make a few extra turns, but only in familiar areas. When you are convinced that you are being followed contact the police immediately. Stay away from isolated areas.

-shopping inside the mall: Be aware when walking in crowds. Watch out for someone that you don’t know that bumps into you or tries to distract you. This is a tactic used to pick pocket. Don’t flaunt cash… bringing the wrong attention will entice a criminal.

-listen to your gut instinct: If you feel uncomfortable or something doesn’t seem right contact the mall security right away. It is always better to be safe then sorry especially when it comes to your safety and/or the safety of others.

Being aware can help keep you out of harms way, but even at our best things happen. Stay aware! Be prepared, and most importantly have a plan.

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