First, don't take just any parking spot -- think strategically.
STAY SAFE: Holiday gift exchange scam takes over social media again
"Even though it's daylight right now, I would be looking to park under a light, because when I come out, it's going to be dark. I want that light on my car," Hogan advised.
When you leave the store, don't walk straight to your car -- be unpredictable, and watch for suspicious activity.
"I would recommend walking up a right angle to your car. It'll give you a better view of your car. Then, approach with a rapid turn," Hogan recommended.
"General rule of thumb: One right turn is coincidence. Two right turns causes suspicion. Three right turns, they're following you," he added.
Once you get to your car, remain vigilant. As you load shopping bags and children into your vehicle, you could become distracted, leaving you vulnerable.
SEE ALSO: Dress for less this holiday season
If you believe you are being followed, proceed directly to a police station or a populated, busy area and contact authorities.
Finally, remember to keep all shopping bags and other valuables in your truck -- out of sight, out of mind, as the old saying goes.