Don't fall victim to a thief or carjacker - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Don't fall victim to a thief or carjacker

How careful are you when you're at the store? How about the parking lot?

"I look around and make sure everything looks okay, that there's no one standing around watching me," said Cynthia Lake Newton.

"You don't know if somebody is going to try to grab a child. There's so much that's going on, you really have no idea what will happen so you kind of have to be extra aware, especially with children," said Maria Marshall.

Frances Monroe was approached for a ride in a CVS parking lot and when she wouldn't comply had a gun shown to her. Police say it's a reminder that you need to be more mindful of your surroundings, particularly during holiday seasons.

"When you're going out shopping, we're asking that you not have so many bags," said Lt. James Williams.

Put them in your trunk and officers say leave that big purse at home.

"Take your driver's license, credit cards, and your keys and just put them in your pocket to have your hands free," said Williams.

Police say when you're headed into the parking lot, you should keep your keys in your hand and if somebody approaches you do something to make a loud noise like setting off your car alarm.

They also recommend that people have a cheap whistle that you put on your key chain. 

"When you're out there and you see something suspicious, it draws everybody's attention when a whistle is blown," said Williams.

There's safety in numbers, so take a buddy with you or wait until someone else is heading into the parking lot instead of going alone.

In Frances Monroe's case, having others in the parking lot likely caused the suspect to run and she escaped unharmed.

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