Safety tips for holiday shopping - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Safety tips for holiday shopping

LAWTON, Okla._As shoppers hunt for the big bargains on Black Friday, thieves are looking for ways to pocket your stuff.

Black Friday is the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season, and police are asking you to make safety a top priority.

Packed parking lots are where the incidents often occur. Police say these bandits are usually after cash. Shoppers are pickpocketed and cars are burglarized. Lawton police have a lot of tips; starting with the simple stuff like locking your doors.

On Black Friday, it's all about the deals.

"How much did you pay for the TV?"

"$159"

"The heated blanket throws, they were on sale for $19.99."

Shoppers are after that steal of a deal, and Captain Craig Akard of the Lawton Police Department says so are the criminals.

"Once you get to your car and you start loading stuff, that is probably the most vulnerable time that there is," said Captain Akard.

Every shopper we talked to today seemed to have their own game plan for keeping their items safe.

"I'm pretty anal about locking things."

"When I do go into the store, I do strap my purse into the baby seat so if somebody tries to take it then they are pulling the cart along with it."

"Just make sure your car is locked."

Take one walk around a busy parking lot though, and what you find is careless behavior.

"There was a car in the parking lot with their trunk up and a big computer sticking out."

There are visible plastic bags in many of the cars in the store's parking lot. In one car, a purse was left in plain view. Another car had a partially concealed purse, but in the back of the car, a bike.

"Throw a coat over it, throw a blanket over it doesn't look like there's stuff there," said Captain Akard.

The best place to store your purchases? The trunk. And to avoid being a target, police say try to shop with friends and family. And when you're exiting the store, especially in the dark, check your surroundings.

"As you are walking out through the parking lot, you notice somebody that you think may be following you, don't go to your car. Try to turn around as soon as you can and go back into the building," said Captain Akard.

Not approaching the criminal is the big message. Once you do get those presents home, police say not to put them under the tree where thieves can see them. They say the number of home break-ins soars around the holidays, and keeping those presents out of sight will make you less vulnerable.

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