Wichita Falls, TX -
Black Friday is just a few days away and the law enforcement is reminding Texomans to take safety when out shopping this holiday season.
"This is typical. We see an increase of car burglaries and things along those lines during this time of the year," said officer Tim Johnson, Wichita Falls Police Department. "It can be an issue of a crime of opportunity where they may see someone in a parking lot carrying a lot of bags."
Last November, WFPD received more than 30 vehicle burglary reports and one fourth of them were made in business parking lots.
"They may key in on that individual while they're loading bags into their vehicle, they'll walk by or come by on a bicycle, or a car even, for that matter and snatch a purse or merchandise of the buggy," said Johnson.
Once finished shopping you should hide items in your car, place them in a trunk or if you can bring them home immediately.
Johnson said you should always lock your doors even if you are only going to be in a store for a short period of time. Never leave your windows down and park your vehicle in an area that is well lit.
He also said not to keep items like a purse or wallet in plain sight. Out of sight, out of mind. Johnson said when heading to your vehicle get your keys out ahead of where you vehicle is parked.
Police also said if you are shopping alone, it doesn't hurt to ask a sales associate at the store you are shopping at to walk you to your vehicle.
Another safety tip that everyone can take to the bank is not visiting ATM machines at night.
If you do need cash, officials said, to get cash back when performing in-store purchases.