Stay vigilant this holiday season while shopping

Posted at 8:24 AM, Dec 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-21 11:21:48-05

It's the most wonderful time of the year, but while many people are running around trying to find the perfect gifts for loved ones, the bad guys are looking for the perfect target.
Michele Jacobs of The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens says security is always important.

"Security is important every day, but it's also important that shoppers stay vigilant," said Jacobs. 

Jacobs advises to check around your vehicle and to always lock your car.
Self-defense expert Gustavo Pope agrees and adds, "walk tall, if you look around, check everything around you."

If you are heading to your vehicle and are aggressively approached by someone, Pope says immediately drop your bags.

From there, he says there are several self-defense moves you can do.   If your arm is grabbed, he says pull away then pull your arm up. 

It may seem more natural to pull down if your arm or hand is grabbed, but according to this defense expert, pulling up breaks the grip. 

If grabbed from behind, there are three moves that Pope teaches called "palm strike, face strike and knee strike."

Pope said the palm strike and hand strike catches the intruder off guard, then you should proceed with the knee strike.

Walk to your car with keys in your hand, ready to push the alarm signal.  Stop roving security vehicles or ask a store employee for an escort if you feel unsafe.  Be vigilant and stay safe year round.