Advice on how to protect yourself from parking lot thieves - WSMV Channel 4

Police share advice on how to protect yourself from parking lot thieves

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The holiday shopping is already in full swing for many of you and as you head out to the shopping malls, so do the crooks.

Channel 4 News Today tagged along with Metro police officers at a shopping center to see if customers were protecting themselves from thieves.

It took just a few minutes for Sgt. Billy Smith to spot a car that was a prime target for crooks.

"Looks like a laptop bag that's in the back seat in plain view. Any thief could come by and see that, and the only thing that separates him from your property is that window. It don't take but a minute to knock that window out, and they're gone," Smith said.

Just a few minutes later, Smith spotted another target for thieves.

"We've got a consumer that comes here to shop, leaves her purse in the front seat. She could have grabbed her wallet out of it, but a thief don't know that. He could walk up in one second, break the window, grab her purse and be gone with it," he said.

Metro police say that nationwide a car is broken into every 26 seconds, and if you're not parking smart, you could be the next victim.

Metro police offered the following advice to avoid become a theft victim:

  • Park in well-lit, well traveled areas.
  • Put all of your bags in the trunk.
  • Save most expensive purchases for last.
  • Have your keys ready when you walk out to your vehicle.
  • Always check to make sure no one is hiding in the back seat.
  • Try not to walk out into an empty parking lot. Wait a minute if you have to for someone else to come out of the store.

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