BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's that time of the year when shoppers are thinking about ad papers and mapping out their Black Friday, but thieves are looking for their next victim.
It's why Baton Rouge Police Lt. Jonny Dunnam said they will have extra officers, in uniform and plainclothes, at many of the local shopping attractions such as the malls.
"Always go in shopping groups. Do not go alone. You want to make sure you are aware of your surroundings that you do not keep your phone in your hand or be distracted for any reason," said Lt. Dunnam.
While many of the safety tips may sound like common sense, people still fall victim daily.
"This time is a crimes of opportunity. You do not want to leave cell phones, iPads, any of your packages in plain view inside your vehicle," said Lt. Dunnam.
He suggested shoppers keep their car keys in their hands to keep from wasting any time getting in their vehicles. Shoppers are reminded to be vigilant and keep an eye out for the surroundings, including getting a good look at the vehicles parked next to theirs. Plus, when out shopping, try not to carry out too many bags.
"Consolidate small packages into the larger bags that you carry to keep your hands free. Obviously no purchase is worth your life. If someone approaches you, d rop your purchase and run," said Lt. Dunnam.
So be careful and have fun shopping away for the unofficial start of the 2015 holiday season.