Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday Crime Prevention Tips

By now, I’m sure you’ve figured out that I’m a big Black Friday shopper. The tradition began back in high school (1999/2000) and has continued on to ever since. I’m not one to fight for deals or wait hours and hours to be the first in line at the door – my strategy is a bit different. I like to look through the sales papers on Thanksgiving Day, find items on my gift list, then create a game plan. I don’t typically go for the big ticket hot items that stores receive 10 each of – cause I’m not about to get in a knock down fight over a 40 inch LED TV.

Black Friday Shopping 3

I also like to bring friends along with me. Not only is it more fun to shop with friends, there’s definitely safety in numbers.

Earlier this week, the security department at my work released a few crime prevention tips for the holiday shopping season and I added a few of my own as well. I want to share these tips with you because it’s so important to protect yourself while battling the crowds. It’s ok to have fun, just be a bit cautious while you’re at it.

Crime Prevention Tips While Shopping

  • Be aware of 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.
  • Carry your purse close to your body. Carry it under your arm and not swinging to the back of your body.
  • Do not carry a wallet in a back pocket. It should be in the front pocket of your pants to avoid pickpocketing.
  • 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. Do not leave anything visible.
  • If you are with children, pick a meeting spot in case you get separated.
  • If you must use the ATM, use it before Black Friday.

Black Friday Shopping

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.
  • Stay in your car with the doors locked until the store opens.
  • Avoid parking next to vehicles with dark tinted windows, vans and large SUV’s.
  • Try to walk with others, not alone.
  • 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 whistle in your possession.
  • Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by a cell phone call or text while walking to and from your vehicle.

Do you have any tips to share?


Don’t forget about the Spartan Racing giveaway happening right now! Ends TONIGHT at midnight!


  1. Great tips Karen. I also think it is important to leave nice jewelry at home to avoid unwanted attention. Have fun shopping on Friday!

    1. That's a good one, too! Thanks, Pam! Happy Thanksgiving! :0)

  2. Excellent tips Karen! And my dad (retired deputy sheriff) always told me to have my key ready to use as a weapon while walking in the parking lot. ;-)

    1. Yes! That's definitely a great tip!! Happy Thanksgiving, Mindy! :0)

  3. WOW, sounds like Black Friday shopping is on the verge of becoming an extreme sport! Have Fun and Be Safe!

    1. Gotta be careful, people get crazy this time of year! Sad but true.


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