With school letting out and family vacations scheduled, let’s take a look at 8 simple tips to prevent beach theft while you are enjoying fun in the sun this summer.
First, let’s understand the beach thief. The best target for a beach thief is the visitor who leaves their things and heads for the water. This way, the thief can keep eye on you and know when the best time to steal your valuables is. Bolder thieves will often team up in pairs; while one is distracting you in conversation, the other will steal your beach bag or other valuables right out from underneath you.
- Swim in shifts. While this is not the funnest way to enjoy the beach together, it ensures that someone is attending your valuables at all times.
- Don’t bring anything that you can’t afford to lose to the beach. Leave your purse, credit cards and smartphone in the car or hotel room.
- Store small necessary items like your car keys, spare cash and credit card inside a waterproof pouch on a lanyard. These can be purchased for under $10 at any sporting goods store.
- Purchase a diversion safe that looks like a product you normally have at the beach and hide your valuables in plain sight. A Dasani water bottle diversion safe has a secret compartment that unscrews to hide your keys and cash. When it’s in the cooler with the rest of your drinks, a thief will never think to grab it. Diversion safes come in a ton of common everyday looking products so there’s something to fit everyone’s lifestyle.
- Place items in a zip lock bag and bury them under the sand. This makes your items less noticeable to a beach thief and takes longer to steal because they have to dig them up.
- Choose a brightly colored bag. Bright colored bags draw attention from not just thieves, but everyone on the beach, and are less likely to be stolen for the attention they bring to the person carrying the bag. Bags with baby prints on them are also less likely to be stolen because it is assumed that their contents are not valuable.
- Choose a spot for your towels, umbrellas, etc. that is close to a lifeguard station. Simply putting your bag under your beach chair does not ensure its’ safety. One of the most common tricks for beach thieves is to have one distract you from the front, while the other quietly snags your bag from behind your chair, moves down the beach and buries it in the sand to pick up later.
- Many sun bathers use the leg of their chair, or wrap the strap of the bag around their arm, to ensure its’ safety while they close their eyes for a sunny snooze. Just be sure that your bag has a zipper that is closed while you are doing this.
When I am travelling- I use a water tight Otterbox on an S-hook to hold my smartphone (or camera) and other small items. This hook is easily attached to the belt loop of my shorts or my husband’s swim trunks. This way, I have my camera for snapping those vacation memories while still keeping my hands free to shop, swim, etc. without worrying about being the victim of a pick pocket.
Last, but probably most importantly- trust your gut. If your gut is telling you not to leave your bag unattended, don’t do it. We often dismiss our gut instincts as foolish when they are in fact, trying to tell us something very important.
Stay Safe and Enjoy Your Summer!