This morning I got an email from a friend that basically was a warning from the police department to be on alert. There has been an increase of bump-and-rob events in our area. This is when a driver is bumped from behind and when they stop because of the bump they are robbed. As I began looking into this online it is apparently quite a popular way to rob people throughout the United States. We are about to enter the busy holiday season and the increase of crime always goes hand in hand with more people out shopping. Add to that one of the worst economies on record, and we could see crime really increase in the coming months. Shopping during the holiday season can present unique danger.
Here are a few tips and things to look out for. Bump-and-Rob events have been happening in the evening hours and cars with one or multiple people inside have been targeted. If someone bumps you from behind do not get out, call 911. If the other driver gets out quickly, drive away immediately to a safe well lit populated place (such as a gas station) and call 911. The bad guys are armed and may shoot at your vehicle. Attacks are most common in isolated areas during the night time. There are usually two subjects in the robbers vehicle. Also do your best to avoid ATM’s at night. If you must use an ATM at night, be very cautious and aware of your surroundings. Be aware of anyone following you as you leave the ATM.
A few things to keep in mind while you are out shopping.
- Always make sure to keep your vehicle locked and valuables hidden from plain sight.
- Try to get most or all of your holiday shopping done during the day and park as close as possible to the entrances to malls, department stores or grocery stores. These people strike when there’s no one around or looking – the closer you’re parked to the entrance, the less likely you are to be jacked or bumped.
- If you can’t get a close parking spot, park close to surveillance cameras if the store has them and under a street light.
- Check the batteries on your key-less entry device, but do not unlock the doors from a distance as someone could be on the other side of the car waiting to open the unlocked door.
- As a mother you’re prone to strap seat belts on the kids first and that’s what people like this are looking out for most! Perhaps get everyone loaded in the car and then do a seat belt check. I have taught my oldest daughter to help her sister put on her seat belt so you can get everyone involved.
- Try to remember where you parked and always park in a lighted parking lot.
- If going shopping at night try to get someone to go with you so you are not alone
- get your keys out before you approach your parked vehicle
- Try to avoid carrying large amounts of cash as this will attract attention – also leave your expensive jewelry at home while you are out shopping
- Never leave your purse or valuables unattended – don’t leave it in the shopping cart
Come up with a plan with your family. It is better to be safe than sorry!