Offers and Stealers: How to Avoid Theft This Holiday Season – WSVN 7News | Miami news, weather, sports

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Detective Jody Weymouth, Fort Lauderdale police: “Left their purse right in the front seat. I got a shopping bag and sneakers, a work ID, some kind of candy bag.”

Karen Hensel: “Telephone charger, sunglasses.”

We walked a parking lot in a mall with Fort Lauderdale police investigator Jody Weymouth.

Even on a weekday afternoon, we immediately hit what thieves would consider a jackpot.

Jody Weymouth: “We’ve only been in this parking lot for five minutes, we’ve checked two rows of cars and found at least five potential victims, so it’s like a candy store for someone would be a criminal.”

But it is not only what you leave in plain sight in your car that can make you an easy victim of theft. That’s what you’re doing next time.

Jody Weymouth: “The problem is someone sees you putting these things in the trunk, all they have to do is access the car and pull in the trunk. If you know you’re going to buy an item that costs a lot, “For example, computer equipment or a designer bag, when you buy that item, take it home. Do not put it in the back of your car and eat lunch.”

And sometimes they just wait for you. Detective Weymouth says not everyone in the mall is actually shopping. Some are really finding their next goal.

Jody Weymouth: “Quite often you want to see people in the mall who really just pretend to shop and they know who is coming out of certain upscale stores and then they can text their friends waiting downstairs in the parking lot or in parking garages: ‘keep an eye on the lady in the red dress, because she just bought a lot of expensive things.’

To avoid being a target, pay attention to your surroundings. We saw people walking to their cars with their heads down, earphones in and on their phone.

Karen Hensel: “So what do you think we do that makes us victims?”

Jody Weymouth: “I think the first thing is just to assume it will not happen to us.”

It happened last month in Davie when a 70-year-old woman left this Walmart.

Police say two purse seers followed her into the parking lot, and one tore the wallet under her arm.

Weymouth has this advice:

Jody Weymouth: “Carry a purse across your body, something small. If you’re going shopping, you really need one credit card. We’re not going anywhere without our phone and our keys. That’s really all you need, so “With a cross body bag, your hands free, it’s right in front of you. You’re not worried about holding it or putting it down or trying to keep an eye on that bag.”

Karen Hensel: “If you can, park near the mall’s entrance, it’s well lit, and if possible, shop with a friend, and always have your keys in hand and ready so you do not get distracted, fumble for them in your purse or pockets. “

And if you shop online this holiday season, watch out for thieves as well.

Jody Weymouth: “If you shop online, make sure you use reputable sites.”

A few more tips:

Check bank and credit card withdrawals regularly.

To avoid “phishing”, do not provide personal information if you are asked to do so via unsolicited calls, text messages or emails.

Enable mobile phone alerts for purchases and use multifactor authentication on accounts that offer it.

To avoid porch pirates, track when your packages should be delivered so you or a neighbor can be there to pick them up.

Police say these few simple reminders can keep your vacation happy.

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