SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – With smash and grabs happening more frequently across the Bay Area and holiday shopping at our heels, security experts say it is important to consider some additional safety measures when out.  

Video shows shoppers moving into a photo booth to hide as criminals ransacked a jewelry store in Fairfield. 

Security experts say it’s quick thinking like this that could protect you as the Bay Area faces a recent rash of smash and grabs. 

“What I always tell my family specifically and friends and close ones is, the first thing we need to do is be aware of our surroundings, which means get your head out of the sand, or in this case, out of your phone as you’re walking around shopping or going to dinner or walking simply down the street at this point,” private security expert Evan Fraser said. 

Evan Fraser, a former law enforcement officer and now in Private Security and Investigations, says these bold crimes will probably continue, especially as the holiday season cranks up with more shoppers out in the mix to buy high-end goods.  

With that in mind, he has five tips to stay safe, starting with keeping alert such as that woman hiding in the booth.

“You should be aware of where the nearest exit is so obviously the first plan if some incident, like for instance, the Nordstrom incident a couple days ago, getting out of the store is your best option. Gain as much distance as you can from the people who are committing the crimes and also, put items in front of you, hard items, you know, lots of clothing, whatever the case is, whatever type of furniture they have in this particular store. Those types of things will give you a little bit of concealment in terms of hiding from them seeing you,” Fraser said. “You’ll want to be aware either that pole that is attached to the clothes hangers three feet from you, you might have to grab that thing, you know snap it off and use it to defend yourself. Obviously, that goes back to awareness right. You want to be personally aware of what’s going on around you, including items to use as self-defense worst-case scenario.”

Some women say they now use the buddy system to go shopping. Fraser says that is a good idea but you still need to make sure that you are paying attention to your surroundings.

Lastly, Fraser says don’t think about playing hero, get out of the way of the criminals.