Note: This content is from a press release Dave Young sent out right before Christmas. Its message is just as relevant now, as you head out to the mall to redeem the gift cards you got for Christmas!

It’s power shopping time. When all that’s on your mind is your to-do list, you are more vulnerable than ever, says Dave Young of Arma Training.

Here are five tips to get you through the final hours:
1. Thieves make a killing by breaking into cars: Make sure your car looks as uninviting as possible. Place all of your packages in the trunk and, when pulling into a parking spot, pull all the way through so your car is face-forward. This makes it less accessible for someone trying to break into your trunk.

2. Don’t let purse snatchers run off with your most critical items: When you’re busy, it’s easy to set down your purse and lose track of it. Therefore, take your identification, money and credit cards out of your purse and put them on your person.

3. Understand how mall thieves operate: Typically they work in teams. One person plays the role of distracting your attention away from your belongings by spilling something, tripping you or falling down and asking for your help. A “lifter” will remove your belongings from you and sneak your belongings to a “carrier pigeon,” who will whisk it away.

4. If you are the victim of theft: As soon as you realize your goods are missing or stolen, survey the crowd and yell loudly, “Hey, that person stole my ()&*^*(%*!” Now pay attention: The person ignoring you or walking away is your likely culprit. If your purse is still missing, it’s likely in the trash cans near the food court or bathrooms, so check there.

5. If there is a crisis at the mall, make sure your children know where to go and what to do if they get separated from you. If they are older, they should know to meet you outside the car. Therefore, park in a spot that is visible from the store, park under a light and tie a ribbon or scarf around the antenna.
“Do not be so focused on the prize that you forget about your property, your own safety or the safety of your children,” said Young.
Young has recorded two holiday-themed safety talks; to listen to his Christmastime safety advice click here (, and to listen to New Years Eve safe partying tips click here (