Deals and thefts: How to avoid theft this holiday season – WSVN 7News | Miami news, weather, sports
Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (WSVN) – Detective Jodi Weymouth, Fort Lauderdale Police: “They left their wallet on the front seat. I have a shopping bag and sneakers, a work ID, and a bag of some sort.”
Karen Hensel: “Phone Charger, Sunglasses.”
We walked into the parking lot at the mall with Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Judy Weymouth.
Even on a weekday afternoon, we immediately got to what thieves might consider a major prize.
Jodi Weymouth: “We only spent five minutes in this parking lot, checked two rows of cars and found at least five potential victims, so it looks like a candy store could be a criminal.”
But it’s not just what you leave in plain sight in your car that can make you an easy victim of theft. This is what you will do next.
Jody Weymouth: “The problem is someone sees you putting those things in the trunk, all they have to do is get into the car and pull out the trunk. If you know you’re going to be shopping for an expensive item, say, computers or a designer wallet, when you Buy this item, take it straight home. Don’t put it in the back of your car and go to lunch.”
And sometimes they are just waiting for you. Detective Weymouth says that not everyone in the mall is actually shopping. Some are already setting their next target range.
Jody Weymouth: “You often see people in the mall really pretending to be shopping and they know who’s coming out of some high-end store, and then they can text their friends waiting in the parking lot or in the parking lot: ‘Watch the lady in the red dress because she just bought A bunch of high dollar stuff.”
To avoid being a target, be aware of your surroundings. We’ve seen people walking into their cars with their heads low, earphones inside their phones and on their phones.
Karen Hensel: “So what do you think we’re doing that makes us victims?”
Jodi Weymouth: “I think the first thing is just assuming it’s not going to happen to us.”
It happened last month in Davey when a 70-year-old woman was leaving Walmart.
Police say two cash snatchers followed her into a parking lot, and one of them tore the wallet from under her arm.
Weymouth has this advice:
Jody Weymouth: “Carry a crossbody bag, a little thing. If you’re going shopping, you really need one credit card. We don’t go anywhere without our phone and keys. That’s all you really need so with a crossbody bag, your hands free, in front of you.” Straight away. You’re not worried about holding on to it or pinning it down or trying to monitor that bag.”
Karen Hensel: “If you can park near the entrance to the mall, it’s well lit, and if possible, shop with a friend, and always keep your keys handy and ready so you don’t get distracted, stumbling upon them in your bag or pockets.”
And if you’re shopping online this holiday season, you also need to watch out for thieves.
Jody Weymouth: “If you’re shopping online, make sure you’re using reputable sites.”
Some additional tips:
Check bank and credit card statements regularly.
To avoid “phishing” scams, do not provide personal information if asked to do so via unsolicited calls, texts, or emails.
Enable mobile alerts for purchases, and use multi-factor authentication on accounts you provide.
To avoid balcony pirates, keep track of when your packages will be delivered, so that you or a neighbor can pick them up.
Police say these simple reminders can keep your vacation happy.
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