Even before the Halloween decorations and candy came off the shelves, stores had already put up their Christmas displays. Boxes, bags, and bows line the shelves along with the hottest Christmas gifts. Fresno malls are no exception. Christmas music and decorations welcome holiday shoppers eager to check items off their shopping lists. With Black Friday only days away, shoppers are counting their cash and lining up their credit cards.

Unfortunately, this time of year is popular with thieves. Thieves know that shoppers carry extra cash and credit cards this time of year. They also know that cars are full of gifts and shoppers are often distracted as they rush to finishing their errands. As the holiday shopping season gets underway, crime rates rise at malls. If you keep this in mind and take a few extra precautions, you can reduce your risk of being a crime victim this holiday season.

Safety Tips While Shopping

As you are shopping this holiday season, remember to keep your money close to you at all times. For added safety, men can carry their wallet in their front pockets.  Women should never leave a purse sitting in a cart or stroller. It is easy to become distracted, and it only takes a second for a thief to grab and go.

When you are paying for merchandise, be careful when entering pin numbers. A thief standing behind you may be stalking you to take your purse once he knows your pin number. If you are paying with cash, try not to let anyone see how much cash you have on you. Be extremely careful carrying cash this time of year. You can cancel credit and debit cards; however, cash cannot be replaced.

When you do complete your purchases, place the bags inside a large shopping bag you brought with you. It is much easier to carry one or two large bags than multiple bags that are easy to lose. It also keeps thieves from knowing what stores you have been to while shopping (thieves love certain stores with items that are easy to sell).

In The Parking Lot

Park as close to the store as possible and in a brightly lit area, especially if you will be coming out of the mall at night. Never leave packages in clear sight in your vehicle. Place bags and packages in the trunk. In vans and SUV’s, consider a cover for your rear compartment. If you feel uncomfortable walking to your vehicle or you feel as if someone is following you, return to the store and request a security officer. Walk to the other side of your vehicle before returning to the driver’s side to unlock your door to ensure no one is waiting to open the passenger door. Look inside your vehicle too before you get in the vehicle. If possible, go to the mall with a friend or family member.

Fresno Premises Liability Attorneys

Fresno malls are usually safe; however, you need to take extra precautions during the holiday season. Even though customers should take steps to keep themselves safe, shopping mall owners also have a duty to provide a safe environment for customers. A property owner must maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, including the parking areas and bathrooms. This includes having security when necessary and providing ample light.

If you are injured at a shopping mall, or you are the victim of theft, consult with a Fresno premises liability attorney to learn your rights. You may have an action against the store owner or property owner under California’s premises liability laws.

You can reach Torem & Associates at 1-800-954-4444. You may also chat with a representative online or use our convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation.