On Your Side: Develop these personal safety shopping habits

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 6:27 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) It’s expected to be a record breaking year for Black Friday shoppers. It’s estimated 114 million people will be out and about finding the best deals.

Thieves will be there too. They hope to pull a fast one on you.

Jeff Cvitak with Martial Arts USA says crooks want your phone. They work in teams.

“They have what’s called a second handoff. Someone will come in take your phone. Then their buddy will be right behind them. Snag it and then you’ll say, ‘Hey you took my phone!’ -- I don’t have it on me. And they walk away. While the third person is walking out the store with your phone,” Cvitak explained.

Thieves grab and go. No big open purses. Springfield Police tell On Your Side last year over the holiday weekend, nearly a dozen people reported stolen purses and wallets.

If you see the same person a few times, be on guard.

“They’ll watch you as you turn. One thing you can do is as you walk by, glance over your shoulder and see if they look at you while you’re walking away,” said Cvitak.

Don’t shop alone. Criminals canvass parking lots. Don’t do all your shopping in one day.

“If you overload your vehicle, put things in the front seat, it puts you at risk. Cars are stolen everyday in Springfield. Eliminate that,” said Cvitak.

More than twenty Springfield police reports were filed this time last year for stolen cars.

If a swindler steals your stuff or you think you’re being followed, report it immediately. Call 911 and tell the store manager.

It’s not a good idea to shop alone at night. While most stores have security cameras, they don’t always work. Dark spots in parking lots can make identifying criminals or cars difficult. Which could mean your case goes unsolved and no charges filed.

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