Police give safety tips during holiday shopping
HIALEAH, Fla. (WSVN) -- It's that time of year when many people hit the stores for those holiday gifts. However, police are warning shoppers to be aware of present danger during their holiday shopping.
Stores like Walmart in Doral stock the shelves for Black Friday sales that start even earlier this year. "It's crazy, it's madness, people just go out," said Stuart Salazar.
Thousands of people pack the stores with their wish lists, but this year you can be prepared before you even walk in the doors. "We have on-line maps that will show the customer for whatever store they want to shop in, where the product is going to be located," said Elise Vasquez-Warner, Vice President of Operations, South Florida Wal-Mart, "so, if they want a big screen television, it'll show them right where the big screen television is located."
The 24-hour event includes three scheduled sales. "We have the iPad 2," said store manager Eddie Marcinack. "It's one of the 10 o'clock items. It's one of the one-hour guarantee items. We're gonna have it on sale for $399. When you go purchase it at the register, you'll get a $75 gift card with that item."
And shoppers are ready to load up on the goods. "I'm expecting to find good electronic deals," said Salazar. "I'm buying an iPad, iPhones, that kind of stuff."
Hialeah Police are putting more boots on the ground now until the New Year to help keep shoppers safe. "More officers on the streets," said Detective Carl Zogby. "There are going to be K-9, bike patrol, motorcycle officers, some unmarked cars."
Before you leave the store, police want you to stay alert. "Don't be flashing jewelry," said Zogby, "dress modestly and discreetly. Always pay attention to your surroundings."
Taking precautions like locking your car door, keeping items in your trunk and not carrying lots of big bags, could help you from becoming a victim.
Police said they began stepping up their presence on Tuesday and will be working seven days a week, 24 hours a day, working mostly in mall parking lots. They are also doing something new this year. Police will be going into residences because many times people go shopping late at night, especially on Black Friday, and people may follow you into your home.
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