I was craving a coffee late one night here in BC, so I strolled out to grab some. I did not really care if it was Tim’s, Starbucks or whatever. Just needed some caffeine, intravenously, whatever. It was late but I made my way to a Petro Canada station with coffee signs everywhere. The gas station was open, but the actual store was closed. I asked the attendant through the intercom if there was a coffee place nearby. He asked me “how do I take my coffee?” Huh? Umm, large, black please. I was thinking that he would unlock the doors for me. Nope not for me. Poured me a coffee, took my cash and returned my change along with the cup of coffee through the security drawer!!! LOL, awesome, I’m getting my coffee through an armored portal, cool.
Our world is definitely changing, security and protection is always present in some way or another. Over the holidays, please make sure that you take care of yourself. Here are a few tips to consider:
■ If using an ATM at the mall, be vigilant and aware who may be around you. Try not to make large cash withdrawals. Remember the malls may be extremely crowded and this would be an excellent time for a criminal to catch you off-guard and grab your cash.
■ Shop during the daylight hours whenever you can. If shopping at night, try to go with another person. If shopping alone and leaving the mall late at night, ask a security officer to accompany you to your car.
■ Always choose a bank with an ATM located in a highly visible, well-lit area. If you notice anyone suspicious approaching, cancel your transaction and leave.
■ Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Don’t advertise large rolls of money in public. You don’t know who may be watching.
■ When you leave your vehicle, make sure to lock your doors and keep windows closed. If you have an alarm on your vehicle, use it.
■ Even though you may be rushed and have a thousand things on your mind, stay alert to your surroundings.
■ Don’t leave valuable items inside your car that are visible to others. Place packages in the trunk of your car.
■ Avoid carrying too many packages that may make you a target. Make regular trips to your car to drop off packages.
■ Keep your purse tucked close to your body at all times. Don’t let it dangle from your shoulder as this may be a perfect setup for a purse-snatcher. This may be hard with the huge purses that I see some ladies carrying. I have also seen people leaving their purses unattended in shopping carts, a big mistake!
■ For men – carry wallets in front pocket rather than back pocket or jacket. Thieves are looking for easy targets as they move through the crowded malls.
■ Park only in well-lit parking areas and as close to a mall or store entrance as you can. Don’t settle for an isolated parking spot just because you’re in a hurry. Hold out for a safe spot to open up.
■ As you walk through parking lots, make sure you are aware of your surroundings and walk with authority. Don’t look like a victim.
■ Don’t be talking on your cell phone as you leave the mall walking to your car. You need to pay close attention to your surroundings and anyone who looks suspicious.
■ Approach your car with car keys in hand and survey the exterior and interior of your vehicle before entering. Place your packages in the trunk all the while aware of anyone who may be nearby or approaching you.
■ Don’t get into your car if you are being followed or are suspicious of anyone standing near your car. If so, return to the mall or store or where there are other people. Ask for store security assistance.
■ Beware alert and aware of strangers who may be approaching you for whatever reason. At this time of year there are “scammers” trying various methods to distract you with the intention of taking your money and belongings.
Have a great holiday my friends! Jd