PARAMUS, N.J. (CBS) — Could thieves give you the Black Friday blues?
While you shop, they could be targeting your cars or even targeting you when you leave the store.
CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reports on how you can avoid trouble in the parking lot.
“In broad daylight thieves will break into cars. At night thieves will break into your car. If you’re parked against the mall, thieves will break into your car because it’s a crime of opportunity,” Paramus Police Detective Lt. Robert Guidetti said.
Despite that, driving through the Garden State Shopping Plaza Guidetti said he still finds shoppers leaving their GPS out in the open.
“They took the GPS down, but we still have the mount. The GPS is somewhere in the car,” Guidetti said.
It wasn’t just that driver, but dozens of others. One SUV Sloan saw was packed with boxes for thieves to break in and steal.
Another person had a radar detector and leather black bag out in plain sight in the front seat.
Crime stats show that while people may be putting their GPS devices away they’re leaving things like laptops, iPods and phones out.
As many as 125 cars were hit for their accessories at the Garden State plaza. They’re already at 65 this year, but Marie Minasi said she tries to stay safe outside her car.
“I always make sure to walk with a friend when I walk to my car,” Minasi said.
Police say once you get in your car, lock it.
“We’ve had incidents where people have gotten in their car, put their pocket book in and someone snatches it from the car while you’re still in it,” Guidetti said.
And Guidetti said don’t strap your bag on your shoulder. Keep it in front, toward the parked cars, so that someone driving by doesn’t snatch it and take you with it.
The bottom line, police said, is if you’re in a parking lot and feel something’s wrong, go back in the mall with people.
Always trust your sixth sense.