Don't Be a Victim: How to Protect Yourself from Crime

As moms, we're so focused on keeping our kids safe in public places that we often ignore our own safety. Thieves choose their victims carefully. And when you're in distracted-mom mode, you're a prime target -- especially for crimes like purse snatching or carjacking. Here's how to stay alert and safe everywhere you go.

In the Parking Lot

Look people in the eye. Lose the victim vibe -- eye contact shows you're confident and in control.

Watch other shoppers. If you recognize someone suspicious from the store walking near you, return to the store to be sure he's not following you. When you get to your car, stay aware of your surroundings while you load your things. And don't overload yourself with bags; make two trips if necessary.

Ask for help. If someone makes you uneasy, go back to the store and ask for an escort. "Don't worry about how it looks or whom you're insulting," says Samantha Wilson, a safety expert and former police officer.

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