A woman named Marsha Johnson was loading groceries in her car at Walmart around 7:45 pm in Covington, GA. Johnson did not notice the guy pull up near her car and walk straight up to her.
As he grabbed her purse from behind, Johnson struggled for it which caused her to trip and fall. The thief hopped back into his vehicle and proceed to run Johnson over multiple times. It was all caught on camera [but that part was edited out].
“She ended up behind the car,” said Capt. Craig Treadwell of the Covington Police Department. “He backed out, and when he pulled forward, she ended up back underneath the car. He couldn’t get the car all the way out, so he ended up being on top of the victim with the vehicle three or four times.” [Quote taken from CBS]
She suffered sever trauma injuries and later died at the hospital.
My Personal Thoughts
The holiday shopping season brings out the best and worst in some people. The season of giving, ironically, is also the season for taking. Whether you’re taking something that was willfully given to you (a gift) or taking without permission (stealing) most people are expecting something from someone else.
The pressure to live up to other’s exceptions and idea of what a good holiday consists of is breeding ground for those who do not have the means and are less concerned about their fellow-man or woman.
As we draw closer to Black Friday and December holiday shopping, make sure you are not making some of these common mistakes that thieves look for when picking a target.
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips
- Try not to shop late at night.
I’m guilty of this myself, however, during this time of year I make it a point to either not go shopping late, or take someone with me. Not as many people shop at night, which is why criminals love working the later hours. Less shoppers out means a lesser chance of being confronted by a bystander.
- Awareness of surroundings is extremely important. Even during daytime hours.
Awareness is always the most important personal safety tip you will ever receive. Had Johnson made eye contact with the criminal when he circled the lot, I can just about bet he would have kept driving. She was so busy loading the groceries in the car that she did not even notice him walk up to her. That was a tragic and deadly mistake.
- Don’t leave items in the car that others may want to steal, even with the doors locked.
OK, clean out you crowded trunk and make room for your purchases. Do not leave merchandise in your car where others can see, even with your car locked. If you have a PlayStation 4 just sitting there in the driver’s seat, a criminal will make no qualms about breaking your window to get in. Or worst, wait for you to unlock the car door and attack.
- If someone snatches your purse/wallet, don’t hold on to it.
Another deadly mistake Johnson made was holding on to her purse. Had she just thrown it away from her, she would not have fallen and would probably still be alive today. Never fight for your personal possessions…in the end, the criminal will still end up with it and you may lose your life. It’s simply not worth it.
- Beware of strangers approaching you.
There are a lot of schemers and con artist at work during this time of year, so if you get a bad vibe from someone whose approaching you, take a few steps back and keep your distance. Make sure you have a way to exit if things go bad.
- Check your backseat for criminals.
When you approach your car, take just a sec to look in your backseat. The last thing you want is to hop in your car, start your engine and then hear an unfamiliar voice from the backseat giving you orders.
- If you take public transportation, be sure to have something readily available in an emergency.
Pepper spray, mace, stun gun, pocket knife, all of these are great for self-defense. Even if you don’t have any of these, holding a key between your first two fingers can also be used as a makeshift weapon if need be. Whatever you do, make it a point to have something that can help you in a crisis situation. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Keep in mind, being in control of your own personal safety has nothing to do with fear. Not everyone is a violent criminal and we definitely don’t need to be afraid to leave our homes.
It has been my experience that being prepared has made me less afraid than I ever was before.
What precautions do you take during this holiday season? Do you have any tips you’d like to add?