Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.  On this day, most major retailers open extremely early and offer promotional sales.  It is an intense time of bargain Christmas shopping for many people.  It has been described as the busiest shopping day of the year.

 

 

Black Friday obviously becomes an opportune time for thieves and robbers.  They know shoppers may possess significant funds in their possession and are often pre-occupied in their thoughts.  They often shop from store to store, leaving their accumulated purchases in their vehicles.  They also may have numerous packages in their possession.

Crime Prevention Tips While Shopping

  • Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
  • Shop with a friend; there is safety in numbers.
  • Don’t buy more than you can safely carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend or ask a store employee to help you carry your purchases to your vehicle.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Pay for purchases with check, credit or debit card.
  • If you carry a purse, do not wrap the straps around your arms or shoulders.  Carry it by clutching the purse tightly under your arm or wear a fanny pack.
  • Do not carry a wallet in a back pocket.  It should be in the front pocket of your pants.
  • Thieves or robbers often look for “high value” shopping bags with your purchases.  When possible, slip bags/purchases in a plain nondescript bag.
  • Watch purchases when eating at mall food courts; bags can be easily switched or taken.
  • Have your car keys in hand before leaving a store.
  • If you do return to your vehicle to unload packages, place them in the trunk.

Crime Prevention Tips in Parking Lots

  • If possible, avoid shopping during hours of evening or early morning darkness.
  • Park in a high visibility area with good lighting and ample pedestrian traffic.
  • Avoid parking next to vehicles with dark tinted windows.
  • Prior to arriving at a shopping center or mall, lock all valuables in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • Try to walk with others, not alone – there is usually safety in numbers.
  • Walk briskly, confidently and directly through the parking lot.  Be cautious of people handing out fliers or asking questions in the parking area.
  • Watch for people who may be following you.  If you sense someone is following you or you feel uncomfortable, return immediately to the store.
  • You may want to consider having a chemical agent or loud audible alarm in your possession.
  • Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by a cell phone call while walking to and from your vehicle.