PHOENIX - As you're shopping this holiday season, remember that the Department of Justice says half of all violent attacks happen in public, and 10 percent of them happen in parking lots and parking garages.
Experts say it's a perfect place fo a robbery: Your hands are tied up with bags, those bags are full of expensive items, and you're likely not paying attention.
Here are five ways to stay safe this holiday shopping season, according to self-defense expert Mike Hayashi:
Hayashi says the first thing you should do when you park your car is look around, even before you get out.
"Look over your shoulder," Hayashi sais, "is there anything suspicious?"
As soon as you get out of your car, Hayashi says you should lock the door. The sounds of a car horn or beep often deters criminals and let them know it will be more difficult to get in your car.
"When you're walking down, you're going to stop about midway and then turn and take a quick look," Hayashi says.
Hayashia says you should take a mental picture of your surroundings and notice where things are. You'll be comparing that picture to another later.
4. Look around your car
Hayashi says you should do a small circle around the back of yor car, in order to check both sides.
"He could be hiding behind the car," hayashi says. "You wouldn't see him."
Finally, Hayashi says you should lock your car door immediately when you get back in it. That way, no one can try to open the door or surprise you while you're fumbling with your bags.
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