Law enforcement officials urging Middle Tennesseans to shop safely on Black Friday

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Law enforcement officials are urging Middle Tennesseans to shop safely on Black Friday.

“The first thing you have to do when at a shopping center or shopping area, is you want to be aware of your surroundings,” said Sumner County Sheriff’s Office Detective Eddie Cripps.

He said shoppers are most often distracted by their cell phones.

“If you’re like many people you might like to look down at your cell phone, while you’re walking. Well, when you’re in the mall parking lot, go ahead and put that cell phone away. It’s good to be aware of your surroundings and without distraction.”

Detective Cripps said that when parking, shoppers should have a direct line of sight to where they are going.

He also said not to park next to objects like trees and bushes that a would-be perpetrator could hide behind, catching the shopper off guard.

If shopping at nighttime, he said shoppers should park in well-lit areas.

Shoppers are also encouraged to be mindful of what they leave behind inside their parked cars.

“Certainly don’t leave those bright, colorful packages or bright, colorful bags, that the packages are in, in plain view sight, because likely that’s a solicitation for come and take me,” said Cripps.

He also reminded shoppers not to leave valuables like cell phones and purses behind, in view of would-be burglars.

Detective Cripps also offered a warning about the use of social media on Black Friday.

“When you’re at the shopping center, don’t send a selfie or place the selfie on your social media account that you’re out shopping. It’s a direct invitation for those who may be watching you to access your home and know that you’re not home,” he said.