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Staying Safe In Parking Lots

Word of the abduction from a Target parking lot in Kansas of 18-year-old Kelsey Smith as she approached her car, and her subsequent death, has prompted many people to wonder how to keep something similar from happening to them or members of their family.

On The Early Show Thursday, Bob Stuber, a former California police officer and an expert on family safety shared some suggestions.

He said safety begins with parking in a well-lit area.

Then, be prepared from the time leave a store: Have your keys in your hand, don't be on your cell phone, don't have your iPod's buds in your ears, be aware of your surroundings, and remember where you parked your car.

When you get to your car, quickly put your packages in your car and lock the doors. You're then in a much better, safer position. You can even use your shopping cart as a barrier between yourself and a potential criminal.

If somebody tries to force you in the car with a gun, you'd be safer if you're not in the car, Stuber said.

Odds are, an assailant wouldn't actually shoot and, if he did, he wouldn't hit you and, if he did, it wouldn't be a fatal.

If you are shot, people could attend to you in the parking lot, but not if you're in a remote area in the middle of the woods.

If you feel you're being followed, turn around and move back toward the store.

If you see someone in the parking lot who looks suspicious, go back to the store and get help from people inside.

Get more tips from Stuber's website.

To watch the Stuber segment,