Pickpocket Safety Tips

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Here is a valuable safety tip from ABC’s Good Morning America on how to avoid Pickpockets.

“It can happen in a split second. A shopper leaves a purse open in a shopping cart and turns away for a moment, perhaps to browse the shelves or try a free sample, or maybe she’s distracted by her phone, but that’s all a pickpocket needs to reach into her purse and snag her wallet.

The distracted, rushed world we live in makes shoppers easy prey, said Bob Arno, an expert in pickpocketing who advises law enforcement on how to catch crooks red-handed.

“The thieves analyze you very well,” he said. “They are like a school of fish swimming and they’ll subtly watch for the weakest victim. … The one who is not paying attention.”

Another classic pickpocket move, Arno said, is to work in pairs, where one person distracts the victim, while the other swoops in and does the stealing.

In surveillance video a man is seen getting the clerk’s attention, and while the clerk’s back is turned, the man’s partner, standing in line behind a woman, waits for her to look away from her purse and swipes her wallet.

Arno offered a few tips to prevent people from becoming pickpocketing victims.

1. Don’t Be Distracted Just Because Someone Appears Trustworthy

Most pickpocketing instances are crimes of opportunity, Arno said.
“It’s more about [people] not paying attention. … Victims make it easy for the thief,” he said. “[Thieves] all say they love the person who is lackadaisical. They can practically smell them.”

2. If It’s Easy for You to Get Into, It’s Easy for Thieves Too

Instead of leaving your purse or backpack in the cart or hanging off a chair at a restaurant, Arno suggested carrying it under your arm or keeping it in front of you.

“If I’m feeling at all threatened I have it up front,” he said.

3. Keep Everything in Your Line of Sight

Never, ever leave your purse or bag in the shopping cart and walk away from it, Arno said. It will make you a prime target.”

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Mail Theft Tips

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The National Sheriffs Association which is the group behind the neighborhood watch program puts out a variety of personal safety tips as well as home security tips including these mail theft tips.

One of the most popular ways for thieves to steal your identity is through your mailbox.

1. Don’t leave outgoing mail in an unlocked mailbox.

2. Take your mail to a blue collection box or your local post office and don’t leave your mail in a collection box that is full.

3. Pick up your mail right away after it’s delivered.

4. Get a locked mailbox or convert your unlocked box to the lockable type and make sure that the mail slot is big enough for the letter carrier to insert your mail. Your letter carrier cannot pick up mail from this type of box.

5. Have regular income checks deposited electronically into your bank account via direct deposit.

6. If you are expecting credit cards, checks or other valuable mail and don’t get it, promptly contact the senders.

7. If you see suspicious activity on your street promptly call 911 and report it to police.

8. You might want to “opt out” of receiving pre-approved credit and insurance offers from the credit bureau mailing lists by calling 1-888-5OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or by visiting online at www.optoutprescreen.com.

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If you have a Security Surveillance System like the one shown here, you may want to aim one of the cameras towards your mailbox for added protection.

By following these tips and using common sense, you can lessen your chances of being a victim of mail theft and possible identity theft. Getting your identity stolen is bad enough, trying to get the damage done to your credit is a nightmare.

Guardian Self-Defense & Security Products LLC is one of the largest most trusted online distributors of non-lethal self-defense items and surveillance equipment in the US. We specialize in premium pepper spray, mace, personal alarms, stun batons and more. We are “The Self Defense Product Experts”!