Tips on avoiding theft this holiday shopping season

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — With the holiday shopping season in full swing, police want to make sure people are vigilant and avoid being targets of theft.

Mall parking lots are packed this Black Friday. While shoppers are looking for deals, they are also aware they might be a target for theft.

“There are people who need stuff, but they might not be able to afford it, so they are going to get it some way,” Tony Raines said.

They have strategies to make sure no one breaks into their car.

“We keep everything hidden in the car and don’t leave the valuables in there. We are staying in a motel, so we will make several trips back and forth to the motel, so not to leave anything in plain sight for people to see,” Raines said.

Police officers say they do their best to stay visible as possible and keep an eye on what is going on.

“But the reality is, unless I come up on somebody actually in the act, it is very hard to find these people. It is very hard to stop this type of crime,” said Lt. Daniel Francis, with the Chattanooga Police Department.

Shoppers were out in packs. Some make sure they are never alone.

“We just try to stay in a group. Don’t go anywhere by ourselves. We make several trips to the car. We just try to stuff stuff, where you can’t see it,” Erika Cooper said.

Shopping in groups is something they do not just around the holidays.

“We try to do it all year, not go anywhere by ourselves, just have two maybe three people,” Cooper said.

Shoppers say this holiday season they are sure to be extra vigilant.

“Be aware of your surroundings,” Cooper said.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News