Officer gives safety tips for Black Friday shopping

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Door buster deals, favorite toys on display, and thieves can all be expected on Black Friday. Before you head out to cross things off your Christmas list, it is important to know some safety tips.

Lt. Dave Allard with Beckley Police said every year they see crime take place on the biggest shopping day of the year.

“Thefts from automobiles, purses being stolen, things like that,” Allard said.

Allard said Black Friday is a perfect time for crimes of opportunity. When you are in the store, keep a close eye on your purse and wallet.

“Don’t get your card or wallet out until you’re ready to pay at the register,” Allard said.

Allard said do not take a lot of cash with you while shopping, and although it may be tempting, do not buy more than you can carry.

Once you are loaded up with bags in hand, head to your car, which Allard said should already be parked in a well lit area. If your shopping list requires you head to more than one store, be smart about where you put your bags.

“Secure your items. If you don’t have the ability to put them in the trunk, if possible take them straight home. Or cover them with something so they’re not observed from outside of the car,” Allard said.

Even if you follow all these safety tips, it is important to still be observant during your shopping trip.

“People are often driving around the parking lot looking for a victim, looking for someone who’s not paying attention,” Allard said.

Allard suggested shopping in pairs and having a plan for where you will shop. He said know the times the stores open and close before you go.

“People don’t always know what time the store is going to open or close. So do some research in advance. Find out what time the store hours are. Don’t be the last person in the store and come out to an empty parking lot. The more people around the better,” Allard said.

Before you leave the house, Allard suggested writing down your credit card information and the number to call the company. That way you will have it if someone steals your wallet and you can cancel the cards right away.

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