Residents advised to shop smarter, safer this holiday season
BATON ROUGE - With the holiday season in full swing, Baton Rouge Police have some safety tips for those willing to brave Black Friday.
Officers will have additional patrols at several high-volume shopping areas, including the Mall of Louisiana and Siegen Marketplace. The increased police presence is due to the fact that many people start Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving Day.
Even though shoppers will be focused on what they're buying, police say residents also need to focus on staying safe to avoid becoming a victim of theft. With many deals happening after the sun goes down, people should pay extra attention while leaving stores with arms full of valuables.
Police recommend shopping with a buddy late at night and avoid being distracted by cell phones. Residents are also advised to lock car doors and hide purchases from sight if they're going to other stores.
Authorities also warn residents about to avoid getting into fights over merchandise, which has happened in the past.
If you're avoiding in-person shopping to buy items online, there are still scams to watch out for. Don't do your shopping on public Internet and use a protected network if possible. Use a credit card over a debit card to reduce the risk of having your account compromised.
Most importantly, when the holiday is all over, police say you should dispose of any large boxes at dump sites or cut them up. Any thief could be tempted if they see a new flat screen TV box near the trash can.
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