BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Black Friday is always a good time to shop for the holidays, especially at really great deals. But, Lieutenant Justin McCulley with the Bluefield Police Department said it is important to keep your safety in mind when shopping.

Lieutenant McCulley said this safety mindset needs to kick in as soon as you pull into the parking lot. Do not get out of the car without your belongings.

“Cell phones, anything lit up like cell phone chargers, purses, wallets, and it sounds ridiculous, but even the small change in the cup holders. People sometimes will bust into the window for a dollar-fifty, or two dollars, in a cup holder,” McCulley said.

Be mindful of your surroundings when going inside a store. Everyone’s out hunting for the perfect gift, and walking away from your belongings or losing track of them, can create a bad shopping experience for you.

McCulley said this can easily be prevented by leaving the big purse at home and coming out with only the essentials you can easily carry on you.

“A lot of times if they can use a wristlet or something small like that, they’re more likely to not leave it sitting in the child seat portion of the buggy, something they can carry in their pocket or on their person and have their cards, cash, whatever they need in it. Even the cell phones have wallets with them nowadays. But if they leave their stuff in their buggies, and walk away from it, it just takes a split second for someone to sneak up behind them and get it,” McCulley said.

He also said to not go shopping alone.

“Use the buddy system. When they’re going out late at night, if they’ve got a friend to shop with, go shopping with a friend. Stay in teams and keep a companion with you to shop,” McCulley said.

Another thing to keep in mind through Black Friday is to minimize all distractions when in the parking lot.