Police offer tips for safe holiday shopping

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – This time of year, the sun sets early and we stay out shopping late.

With Black Friday just around the corner, police departments are rolling out initiatives to increase patrols near shopping malls and retail hubs.

For the Metro Nashville Police Department, that can include officers on horseback, in bicycle teams, and on foot.

To the east, Mt. Juliet police are kicking off the annual Operation Safe Shopper. That means extra patrols near the retail centers along I-40.

Mt. Juliet police will also utilize undercover officers in plain clothes, to blend in with customers and watch for suspicious activity.

“There are people out there who want to steal from you,” said Lt. Tyler Chandler. “We simply want to increase our presence to deter and prevent any crimes that could happen.”

Police offer the following holiday shopping safety tips to help residents protect themselves:

Shopper Safety Tips:

  • Report any suspicious or out-of-place behavior to police, immediately.
  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Park in well-lighted spaces, lock car doors, and place packages out of sight in the trunk or under seats.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card if possible.
  • Carry purses close to the body, not dangling by the straps.
  • Put wallets in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • Supervise children at all times. Teach children to go to a police officer or security guard if they get lost or separated.
  • Take a holiday inventory. The holidays are a good time to take photos or videos of items in your home

Parking Lot Safety Tips:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • If shopping at night, park in well-lit areas.
  • Never leave your vehicle unlocked.
  • When walking to your vehicle, look prepared by having your keys in your hand, your purse and other packages close to you, and always be aware of what is around you.
  • Never leave holiday packages or other valuable items visible inside your vehicle.
  • If possible, shop with other and walk in groups. It is safer to have another person with you.
  • If you see suspicious people or activity, go back into the store or to a populated area and contact the police immediately.