On Your Side: Holiday shopping safety tips

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 6:34 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The holiday shopping season officially starts on Friday. Crooks know that. On Your Side has a few simple safety tips so your family is not a target while you shop.

Jeff Cvitak with Martial Arts USA says to keep those big and open purses at home.

“It’s not hard to sneak up, grab the wallet and then sneak away. You never know it’s going to happen,” said Cvitak.

Wear a purse with a chain or strap that goes across the body. Crooks will likely pass on a challenge.

“The biggest no-no is people watching their phone the whole time and not being aware of their surroundings. They have a lot of money on them, cash, and gifts. It’s going to be a high target and they’re not paying attention to what’s going on around them,” said Cvitak.

Walk with confidence, especially in parking lots.

“Most attacks happen in the parking lot. It’s easy to get in and out. Tough to stop,” said Cvitak.

Gifts go in the trunk. Or cover them with coats and blankets. Always be observant.

“They’ll watch you put presents in. So take a look around to see if anyone is watching you when you do that,” said Cvitak.

Kids go in first.

“I’m bringing in my kids. There’s only one access point they can get to. Don’t load them here and have the opposite side open because you won’t be able to get to them fast enough. You’re not going to have enough time. It doesn’t take three or four minutes for something bad to happen. It’s three or four seconds,” said Cvitak.

More safe shopping tips:

If you notice an individual twice -- that could be a red flag. If you see something, report it to management.

Keep high-end, name brand purses at home. Those can be distracting.

Always shop with a buddy or small group.

If you’re shopping with kids, talk to them about safety. Have a plan and a meeting place, like the front counter if you get separated.

To report a correction or typo, please email

Copyright 2021 KY3. All rights reserved.