All-Around Safety on Black Friday & Beyond

With November’s arrival comes a cornucopia of offerings: crisp fall weather, changing leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

As the holiday season shifts into overdrive, and shoppers embark on procuring their holiday purchases, SF SAFE has some seasonal tips for safeguarding one’s personal safety and holiday purchases.


Parking Smart on Black Friday & Beyond

As the SFPD and SF SAFE often caution residents, the first rule of parking smart—whether holiday shopping or not—is if you love it, don’t leave it! Never leave anything of value visible in your vehicle—or, ideally, in it at all. By doing so, you’ll make your car an easy mark for a smash-and-grab.

If you have to place packages in your trunk and plan to return to shopping, take time to move your vehicle to another location in the event thieves are casing the parking garage/parking spot.

Don’t forget to lock your car doors and trunk as soon as you return to your car after shopping—especially if you’re on your cellphone. Be sure to relock the doors and trunk of your vehicle if you return to shopping.

Make sure you don’t leave your car running while you load shopping bags into your trunk. Someone might seize the opportunity to make off with Santa’s sleigh.

Notice a suspicious person possibly casing cars or watching shoppers in the parking garage or on the street? If you see something, say something by reporting it to the SFPD.

After you leave your shopping excursion, if you notice you’re being followed, drive to the nearest police or fire station—or a populated area is another good option.

Being an Alert Shopper

During your shopping expedition, be an alert shopper by staying aware of your surroundings. Be sure to tell security personnel or store owners if you notice any of these activities: Someone tampering with surveillance cameras; an individual who seems to be concealing something—such as a threatening device—under bulky clothing; unattended packages; a person acting erratically or nervously; and suspicious chemical smells or pungent odors. Again, these are additional situations where if you see something, say something.

Personal Safety and Pick-Pocketing Prevention

While shopping, also be mindful of your personal safety and pick-pocketing prevention by: Bringing only the cash and credit cards you need; not carrying your social security card or passport; not letting others (intentionally) distract you in crowds; and avoiding distracted walking, i.e. limiting the use of your cellphone or earbuds in public.

If you need to contact authorities regarding an emergency or crime-in-progress, dial 9-1-1. For non-emergencies, contact the SFPD at 415-553-0123.