Black Friday Safe Shopping Tips
As the holiday season jumps into full swing, and shoppers venture out onto San Francisco streets to support local businesses, SF SAFE has some tips for protecting your personal safety as well as your holiday purchases. Check out these “Park Smart Black Friday Edition” tips to ensure that your holiday season is not only merry, but also safe.
Park Smart Black Friday Edition
The first rule of parking smart while holiday shopping is if you love it, don’t leave it! Never leave anything of value visible in your vehicle—or, ideally, in it at all. Doing so will make you an easy mark for a smash-and-grab.
If you must place packages in your trunk and plan to return to shopping, take a moment to move your vehicle to another location in the event thieves are casing the parking garage/parking spot.
Be sure to lock your car doors and trunk as soon as you return to your car after shopping—especially if you’re sitting checking your cellphone. Don’t forget to relock the doors and trunk of your vehicle if you return to shopping.
Don’t leave your car running while you load purchases and shopping bags into your trunk. A shady character 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
Also during your shopping excursion, be an alert shopper by being aware of your surroundings. Notify security personnel or store owners if you notice any of the following 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
Also during your shopping endeavor, 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.