Awareness is Important

To protect your family in this setting the best defense is awareness. Awareness will allow you anticipate the potential danger and plan ahead for the next time you go to a shopping center. Planning includes selecting a safer time to shop (daylight) and arranging not to shop alone if possible. You can plan where to park (i.e. not next to a large van) and in high traffic areas. You can plan to scan the area for suspicious males before parking and exiting your vehicle. You can also plan not to park or exit your vehicle if suspicious males are in the area. Families should agree in advance to exit and enter their vehicle quickly and lock the doors. Families should be trained to look around their vehicle before approaching and retreat if anyone suspicious is loitering in the area. They should be trained to return to the shopping center and alert security or call the police.

  • Be aware and alert to predators in the parking lot

  • Plan when to go and where to park

  • Do not get out of the car if it doesn’t appear safe to do so

  • Scan the area around your car as you approach it

  • Teach your family to enter and exit the car quickly

  • Trust your instincts of you see someone suspicious

  • Return to the store if anyone looks or acts suspicious

  • Ask if the shopping center does parking lot escorts

(information shared from: