Holiday Shopping And Safety Tips From Hair Balls And The Harris County Sheriff's Office

The Harris County Sheriff's Office Auto Theft Unit and The Texas Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority are worried about your stuff getting stolen this holiday shopping season.

And they know as well as anyone that thieves are flipping scumbags that would steal a diaper bag if they thought there was a $20 bill inside it.

Holiday shopping crime is also bad for business, for at least a few hours while they clean up the mess and all. The best way to deter any trouble is to be proactive, alert, and keep barking like a dog so a mugger is too scared and freaked out to approach you.

And if it makes you feel any better, Hair Balls wants you to be safe too this holiday season. I know know, the warm and fuzzies are washing over you like a tidal wave.

The Auto Theft Unit and The Texas Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority sent us some simple tips for safety this season, and we made sure to add our own two cents to each. In the interest of your safety, of course.

Hide your valuables. Items in the open make your car a bigger target. Do not leave anything of value in your car including registration papers, proof of insurance or anything that has your address. These items are to be kept in your purse or wallet.

As festive as it may seem, stapling your holiday spending money all over the front of your coat and writing your bank account number and pin on your car windows is a tad stupid.

Take your keys and never leave a second set of spare keys in your vehicle. Twenty percent of stolen vehicles had keys inside them, making the theft even easier.

Remember in Twins when Arnold Schwarzenegger steals that car here in Houston that had the keys in the ignition? Don't let Arnold Schwarzenegger steal your car with a giant longhorn rack in the front.

Lock your car. Almost half of all vehicles stolen were left unlocked.

And over half of those cars are driven by douchebags who deserve their shit to be stolen anyhow.

Park in well-lit or heavily-trafficked areas. Thieves do not like witnesses. Find an attended lot or garage if possible.

This is important because if there is one thing that Houstonians and suburbanites love, it's parking in dimly-lit alleys and back-forty car lots.

Give parking attendants the ignition key only. Keep your trunk and glove box locked at all times. If possible, get separate keys for the ignition and the trunk and glove box.

But you should always -- always -- throw your car keys at the valet and push your Ray Bans down your nose and wink. It looks cool in all the '80s movies. Tell them there is a Hamilton in it for them if they are lucky. It gives valets a good reason to not steal your iPod.

Never leave your car running and unattended. Cars are often stolen at convenience stores, gas stations or when an owner leaves the vehicle running to warm it up. Lock your vehicle even if you are standing beside it while pumping gas.

Just great advice right there. I left my car running and unlocked during a Texans game once and someone used it as a dumpster.

Install an anti-theft device. Many insurance companies may give you a discount for certain anti-theft devices. Check with your agent for details.

If you can't afford to install a anti-theft device, buy a big mean scary dog to sit the driver's seat for you. The thief will be all like "Dude, that doberman owns an Audi? I wonder what he pays per month."

Always try to walk to and from your vehicle with another person. If you are shopping alone, consider walking near other shoppers in the parking lot.

Don't be afraid to make small talk either. Ask your fellow shoppers what they bought and from where and how much it cost them, and if they carry a lot of cash during the holidays.

If shopping alone and leaving at night -- particularly if you're carrying several bundles -- ask a security officer to accompany you to your car. Most malls will provide that service.

You never know, maybe you can end up falling in love.

Inside a mall, avoid darkened hallways and other backroom areas, especially near closing time.

Don't go to any part of any mall really if you don't have to. Why go shopping public when you can order everything online and also masturbate to porn afterwards? I dare you to jerk off inside Yankee Candle. You can't do it.

Avoid using bathrooms that are tucked away in a back area of a mall concourse or department store. If you can, find a bathroom near the mall's food court or other well-trafficked area. And always accompany your child to the bathroom.

Catheterize yourself before you go shopping. Better yet, wear an adult diaper. If a robber approaches let them know you have a pant-load of poo for them.

Never use a video arcade or toy store as a baby sitter; predators are on the prowl for unattended children.


Take special care in your banking transactions. You may be watched and followed from the bank parking lot to a less secure location. Thieves are watching to see if you have withdrawn money or received valuables from safe deposit boxes.

Hey, if someone is going to be watching you, you might as well give them a show. Amirite, ladies?

If your instinct tells you that something is wrong, something usually is.

Yeah, right? Some of the shit they sell at Urban Outfitters is dumb as hell.

Do not leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart, on a baby stroller, or in a vehicle (including trunk). Carrying cash, credit cards, and identification in a wallet or fanny pack on your person is a safer choice to keep them secure.

Don't wear a fanny pack, because just no.

Now, go out and have a wonderful and safe, holiday season!

Hey pal, I don't gotta do anything I don't wanna do. This is America still, right?

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