Dear Fellow Survivalist;
The Christmas shopping season is fast approaching, with Black Friday just around the corner. Shopping malls and big box stores will be filled with people trying to find that perfect gift, without having any idea of what the perfect gift really is. But shoppers aren’t the only ones out there this Christmas season, Christmas time is a great time for criminals, who see it as a time for their own brand of shopping. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, robbery and personal larceny increase by 20% during the month of December.
While it is easy to get distracted by all the activity and the lights associated with the Holiday Season, we must be even more aware than normal, in order to protect ourselves from someone turning our Holiday experience sour. It doesn’t take much of an open door for the criminal element to decide you are their next victim, so you’ve got to be diligent to not give them that open door.
Probably the most dangerous form of criminal activity during the Christmas season is that of armed robbery. Criminals know that people are carrying cash, as well as valuable gifts that they’ve bought. It’s not hard to hide out in a parking lot at night and spring a surprise attack on unsuspecting shoppers.
This is why we go armed; but going armed isn’t going to do you any good if your arms are full of packages. You’ve got to have your hands free to grab that pistol on your hip. So, what do you do if your hands are filled with bags and boxes? Drop them. Not only will that free up your hands to grab your gun, but it will also serve as a distraction, so that they hopefully don’t realize what you’re doing until it is too late.
In order to make that possible, you need to make sure that you’re carrying things in a way that makes them easy to drop. Watch out for the handles on plastic bags, as they can get wrapped around your fingers easily. Fragile items are another concern. Rather than take a risk on them breaking, it would probably be better to have someone else carrying the fragile stuff, while you carry things that can’t get damaged by dropping them.
Speaking of those parking lots, thieves love to roam them, looking for unlocked cars. It’s amazing how many people leave valuable packages in the back seats of their cars and don’t bother checking to make sure that their doors really locked. That’s an open invitation to someone who wants to sell your purchases for a dime on the dollar.
Your best bet is to put all your packages in the trunk of your car. If you have a SUV, where you don’t have a separate trunk, at least make sure that everything in the back is covered, so they can’t see what you have bought or even if you have bought.
Burglary goes up this time of year as well, as that particular class of criminals knows that people will have expensive gifts sitting under the tree. Pretty much anything they grab will be worth something and some gifts might be worth quite a lot.
Try to avoid having your Christmas tree, or at least the presents underneath it, visible from outside. Many burglars case a house before breaking in, making sure that nobody will be at home and that there are things worth stealing. The more you can do to hide your valuables and gifts, the less there is for them to see. Don’t hide things in the master bedroom though, as that’s often the first place they look.
When it comes time to open all those presents, take care of how you dispose of the boxes. A box for a big-screen TV, sitting next to your garbage can, may as well be a billboard announcing that someone just got a new TV. The same can be said for a lot of other gifts, especially large ones. Take the time to cut those boxes up, so that they’ll fit inside your trash can. That will stop them from seeing what you got, at least from a casual drive by.
These may seem like simple actions to take; but taken together, they can do a lot to help make sure your holidays are merry ones for your family and not some criminal’s. It’s all about taking the right preventative actions, just like preparing ourselves by keeping our powder dry and our survival gear close at hand.