MANCHESTER, NH – With the holiday shopping season fast approaching the Manchester Police Department would like to advise you of a few safety tips for parking lots that will help reduce your chances of becoming a victim while you shop.
Choose the Right Spot
When searching for a parking spot take the time to find a spot in a more populated and well-lit area instead of settling on a spot in a dark or desolate area.
Lock or Lose It
One of the easiest steps you can take to protect your vehicle is to lock your doors and make sure your windows are closed. Often thieves will simply search the parking lots for unlocked vehicles they can rummage through and locking your car will keep these thieves at bay.
Stow and Store
Store valuables such as GPS devices, radar detectors, tablets, or any other electronic equipment out of sight. Also hide any power cables or mounts that may be tell tale clues that a device is hidden in your car since thieves may see these accessories and break into your car in hopes of finding the electronic device in your glove box or center console.
Be aware of your surroundings as you enter or leave stores. Look to your front, sides and rear and avoid reading emails or texts as you walk so you remain aware of your surroundings. This will lessen your chance of becoming a victim as well as reduce your chances of being struck by a passing motorist.
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Are Thieves Watching?
Thieves often watch for shoppers who place purchases in their vehicles while shopping and once you return to the store they help themselves to your recent purchases. If you need to store items in your car while shopping take the time to move your vehicle to another area, away from anyone who may have observed you store your purchases in your car.
Do Not Delay
Walk with a purpose and do not wander around the parking lot. Have your keys in hand so you can quickly and easily unlock your car. Once you are in your car lock your doors immediately and drive off. The longer you sit in your vehicle the more you increase your chances of becoming a target.
If you are approached or chased by a stranger return to the store and alert an employee. Draw attention to yourself by talking loudly or yelling. If you feel threatened or in immediate danger get on your cell phone and dial 911.
Dial the Number
If you are a victim or witness of a crime and observe a license plate number immediately enter it into your cell phone and hit send. By dialing the number and hitting send you will store the number in your call log, which can easily be retrieved once you are speaking with an Officer.
Have a great holiday season and please drive safely. – MPD