Defend yourself from holiday criminals - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Defend yourself from holiday criminals

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Picture this: your hands are full of bags from holiday shopping. You're walking to your car, and suddenly, you're blindsided.

A thief is getting away with your stuff. Do you know what to do?

"I think I might just give it to them, because he needed it worse than I did," said Cedar Falls shopper Linnea Graen.

"I think I would use the knowledge I learned back in high school. They kind of taught us some self defense," says fellow shopper Jennifer Diehl.

"I would holler a lot, and look to someone else for help," says Bobette Fortney.

Those ladies are not too far off. Here's what the police recommend:

"Yell for someone to call 911, and let the bags go. There's nothing that can't be replaced," Cedar Falls Lt. Brooke Heuer said.

She says to keep your phone nearby, but don't bury your face in it. 

Be aware of your surroundings. If your thief becomes an attacker, use these simple self defense tactics:

"If you have your key in your hand, you can stab someone in the eye. If your hands on your panic button, hit that," Heuer said.

Heuer also says to create space between you and the attacker, using your knee or your forearm.

And if you have mace or a legal pocket knife, use i -- but only if you're positive you know how to.

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