Don’t Get Burned at the Beach

Here’s how to avoid criminals when vacationing at the shore
A small group of friends on the beach Caption: For safety, pick a spot on the beach where ther
For safety, pick a spot on the beach where there are other people. Unsplash

Criminals are moving from the streets to the beaches, where they look for tourists and beachgoers who aren’t paying attention. This summer, if you go to a beach in the U.S. or abroad, U.S. LawShield suggests the following ways to stay safe and keep your belongings secure.

Always be on the lookout: Jugging is a new type of crime that usually involves one person distracting you while another steals something while you’re not paying attention. Watch out for people who are just standing around and then move straight toward you, change direction to get in your way, or start moving when they see you. All of these things point to possible danger. Even though these signs don’t mean that someone is going to attack you, they can be a warning that you might have to deal with someone you don’t want to. 

Find out about the beach first: You can find out which beaches are safer than others by reading reviews, blogs, and online groups. Some places may be dangerous at certain times of the day, like early in the morning or late at night, when there are fewer people around, including lifeguards and police.

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ATMs near beaches are targets: Many beach parking lots have ATMs so that people can pay for parking and use public vending machines. Criminals often place themselves far away and use glasses to spy on these places. They find out who uses the ATM and how much money is taken out so that the thief can follow the user to their next stop. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t take out too much money at once. When you can, use a credit or debit card instead of an ATM.

Secure your belongings in parking lots: Don’t leave jewels or money in your car at the beach, and don’t forget to lock it. Predators are always on the lookout for a chance to get what they want, and they won’t be afraid to break a car window to get it. Lock your goods in the trunk or center console so they can’t be seen.

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Choose a wise spot on the beach: Pick a spot on the beach where there are other people. Never cut yourself off from everyone else. Choose a spot near the water so that the person left behind to keep an eye on everything won’t have to walk too far. Don’t let bags and wallets out of your sight while swimming, playing with kids, or doing anything else. Don’t go to the beach with metal on. Wear a watch that is cheap.

Getting the car ready to go: Be aware that there are people who want to steal your purse or wallet while you are moving or unloading your car. Always be aware of what’s going on around you.

“With it being prime beach season, we need to remind people that everyday distractions can lead to unwanted encounters. Tourists and beaches are prime targets for criminals because of these distractions, including parents who must pay close attention to their children,” said Kirk Evans, president of U.S. LawShield. “As our mission at U.S. LawShield is to educate, prepare, and protect, we continually provide information to the public on ways to stay aware and how to avoid these altercations altogether. Take as little valuable items to the beach as possible and trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, move to a safer place immediately.”

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