On Your Side: Safety advice when shopping with kids; Is your purse a target for thieves?

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – As you know, Friday marks the official start of the holiday shopping season. It’s expected that 130 million people will shop in person on Black Friday. Even if you don’t plan to venture out, chances are you will get out with the crowds before Christmas morning.

“Watch that individual you see three or four times down that same aisle with you,” said Jeff Cvitak with Martial Arts USA. They’re not casing for a product. They’re casing for an individual.”

Cvitak says crooks eye your phone.

“I see a lot of people keep their phone in their back pocket. If it’s in your back pocket it’s not hard to pick,” said Cvitak.

Wear a crossbody purse.

“I love the flap being on the inside. Makes for a greater deterrent for them to grab it. In front is better. The ones I don’t like are the big bags with a wide opening that’s easy to go in and doesn’t clasp. I know some people want to shop and show off their Louis Vuitton, but that’s a mark thieves will look for,” said Cvitak.

Consider mace or a kubaton.

“Some people don’t want to carry mace because of their kids playing with their keys. We’ve seen it happen. The issue with a kubaton is it can’t be buried in your purse,” said Cvitak.

Cvitak says be a responsible gun owner.

“Don’t just carry to carry. Carry because you got the training and you’re comfortable to use it in a public environment,” he said.

If you’re taking the kids, don’t let them out of your sight. Always have them walk in front of you. Tell them this a few times so they know how to spot odd behavior.

“Adults will never ask kids for help. Adults will ask other adults for help,” said Cvitak.

Never shop alone, especially at night.

If you plan to spend a lot of time at the mall, outlet mall or shopping center, make a few trips to your car throughout the day and move your vehicle a few times in case you’re being watched.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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