Now that we're engaged in the official holiday season, several things become apparent: One, shopping is like an elimination tournament. The weak and sickly are soon eliminated. The other day I went to the mall. I was ready. I had my confidence high and was prepared to ignore trivial things like credit limits and mortgage payments and do what was necessary to make that purchase.
I lasted five minutes.
I hate shopping. I really do. It didn't take much self-convincing to justify leaving the store and successfully procrastinating for another day. In the parking lot, I did what all over-50, mature adults do. I spent the next 15 minutes looking for my car. It was during this quest that I happened to pass a number of cars, mostly walking between them in the parking lot. Being that I spend a great deal of time reading police reports and seeing theft-from-car reports constantly, I did peek through the windows of several cars.
The majority of them were ripe for the picking. From wallets to purses to cell phones and even in once case, a pistol tucked between the seat and console.
This time of year, parking lots are target-rich environments for thieves. But, you know that don't you? I mean this ain't our first rodeo is it?
You've survived countless Christmas shopping seasons and nothing has happened to you. All is well--except for the fact that you're just riding on luck. When the luck runs out and someone does see your "stuff" in the car and one broken window later, it's gone, you will be very upset. Then you will vent like a child whose candy has been swiped. Then you blame everyone else (except you) and call for the death penalty for petty theft. Then you file insurance and then you get your insurance check and then you use that check to do some shopping.
When you pull into the parking space, you leave your "stuff" in the car. Once again you rolled the dice. Luck is what you make of it--sometimes. In this case, definitely. You need to control your destiny here!
Don't get real crooks mixed up with TV crooks who somehow have some sense of honor ala Robin Hood. Not the case folks. Real crooks care about the commodity of the items taken. They don't care if they're courtesy of a 25-year old or a 95-year old.
Seniors make easy targets and if you think they care about the fact that they steal nest-egg money accounts or swindle them into handing over thousands in a phony investment scam, you're wrong. The one common denominator among theives is their selfishness. Most of the time, they will always be what they are. Working is too hard. They can reason with guilt--if they have even an ounce of it, by the immediate gratification of what they took.
Don't fall for the phony excuses of "I'm disadvantaged" or "I'm a druggie" of reasoning why someone deprived you of your identity or your hard-earned goods in your home. These people don't turn into good citizens after you give them a hug. Nope. Most likely, when you're hugging them, they'll be reaching into your pocket.
The point to this is, well, this: Take control of what you can control. All you have to do is take a short minute or two and do two things: Lock and hide.
Put your goods in the trunk if you're shopping. If you're on an all-day marathon, make a trip to the house and unload. There are dozens of ways to prevent theft but none of them do any good if you're not thinking like one. Don't forget that all crooks operate on the RISK VS OPPORTUNITY formula. The path of least resistance is the path they'll take. Always.
Most of our arrest come from someone seeing something and reporting it to the police. It may seem insignificant but it means a lot.
So, let's summarize:
- Men don't do so well shopping during the holidays.
- Many of us spend 15 minutes each day looking for our cars in the parking lot.
- Crooks love cars with gifts in them--especially those with valuables in view
- Crooks are crooks. they are heartless. There is no honor among them.
You have control of your chances of being a victim. Your biggest enemy is you--rather your laziness and procrastination.
Just take a minute to think about how much you'd miss your "stuff" and then secure your goods. It takes only a minute or two and you will be regarded as a Great American for doing it.
And did you know that the average weight of a holiday fruitcake is 72.5 pounds?
Happy holiday shopping and good hunting!