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Safety tips for shoppers

Updated December 23, 2009

  • Never leave packages, bags, cell phones, purses or other valuable items inside of your car where they can be seen from the outside.
  • Never fight over parking spaces. It is not worth pushing the wrong person to become violent. Your car could also be vandalized as a result.
  • Always park in a well-lighted area and with other people around if possible. Look for landmarks and remember where you parked so you don't roam the parking lot looking for your car after shopping.
  • When shopping, always try to walk with someone else. Robbers seldom confront multiple victims. Carry your purse on the opposite side of traffic when walking through a parking lot. Plan to obtain cash during the day and avoid using an ATM at night.
  • Stay alert and be aware of the people around you.
  • As you approach your car, have your keys in your hand so you can enter your vehicle and close and lock the door quickly behind you.
  • When loading packages or children into your car, keep an eye on purses, other bags and packages. Put your purse in the car first, then unload your bags.
  • Never buy items such as computers, jewelry, stereos or anything from a "guy in the parking lot." These items are often stolen, sub-standard or fake.
  • Keep your purse zipped or buttoned up. Make sure that your wallet pocket is closed. Don't hang your purse on a fitting room hook. Place it on the bench where you can see it.
  • Never store a purse in the child's seat of a shopping cart. Place it in the cart and keep it closed to protect your wallet.

To report a suspicious person or vehicle, call the Cerritos Sheriff's Station at (562) 860-0044.

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