Authorities remind public about personal safety at malls, shopping centers

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. – With the holiday shopping season in full swing, police are reminding the public to be alert at shopping centers.

Carjackings, purse and wallet thefts, and vehicle break-ins are year-round problems, but more cases tend to occur in December when people are distracted and busy.

Richmond Heights Police Department Officer Miranda Conard offered tips that apply to any venue, in any community.

Don’t make yourself a target, Conard said. Condense shopping bags to draw less attention.

She also said it is important to be prepared and on alert before you head to a parking garage or parking lot.

“Something I tell my mother, often. Please, please, please, before you leave the store, make sure you have your keys already out. Don’t start fumbling for your keys for you to get into your car. Have that stuff prepared before you exit the store,” she said.

Police said shoppers should never hesitate to contact police if they feel uncomfortable or see something that appears suspicious.

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