The holiday season is here, and for most people that means parties, gifts, family, and fun. For some, though, it means opportunity — to steal, that is. For those on the wrong side of the law, Christmas season = hunting season and you are the prey. While there were fewer robberies statewide in the first half of 2017, there were more robberies in Broward and Miami-Dade during that same period. The bad guys are now out in full force, from pickpockets in Aventura Mall to people breaking into cars in Pembroke Pines. Armed this year with more disposable cash and confidence in the economy, consumers are in the mood to spend. So, here are three holiday security tips to help you protect yourself (and your investment in gifts) this season.
Thieves know people are out shopping, and they are watching. Sometimes the cars cruising the parking lots are not looking for places to park; they are looking for people exiting shops and malls laden with packages from expensive stores. When you are walking from the mall to your car, be extra alert. See who is walking around you, and pay attention if they seem to be following you. Be careful loading your packages into your car or trunk. With your back turned, you are vulnerable from behind.
Also, don’t take packages to your parked car and then go back into the mall or shopping center. It may lighten your load while you are doing the rest of your shopping, but thieves use these opportunities to break into cars while the owners are doing more shopping. If you think it can’t happen in an open parking lot at a crowded mall, think again. These crooks are professionals and can do this without raising suspicions from passers-by. As a local car locksmith, we see a lot of broken car door locks and trunk locks at this time of year.
More people are avoiding the malls and local shopping districts in favor of their computers. Online shopping this holiday season is expected to increase 18% – 21%. That means delivery trucks will be leaving more packages than ever on doorsteps. According to an October 2016 report by Business Wire, 11 million people had USPS, Fedex, and UPS packages stolen from their doors in the prior year.
If no one is usually home during the day because everyone in the home works, consider having packages shipped to your place of business. If you work in an office or a small retail store, this should be easy to arrange. If you prefer to go high-tech, consider using services like Amazon Key. This service allows you to unlock your door with your smartphone and watch in real time as delivery people enter your home to leave packages safely inside. This convenience doesn’t come cheap, though. The smart lock and camera for Amazon Key will set you back about $250.00.
We know how tempting it is to put that beautiful Christmas tree surrounded by packages in the front window for all to see. It is such a pretty picture and a welcoming view when you drive up to your home. Unfortunately, it may welcome the wrong folks and invite a home break-in. Display your Christmas tree and gifts away from windows and prying eyes. And, since property crime spikes during the holidays, Lock N More can show you how to change door locks and improve security at home.
Hopefully, these holiday security tips will help you have an enjoyable holiday, free from any unfortunate incidents. Lock N More wishes everyone a joyous and beautiful holiday season!