Holiday shopping: Don't become a victim

November 13, 2018 08:44 PM

The holiday shopping season is only days away.

That could mean lots of deals but it can also mean lots of opportunity for criminals.


The sheriff's office and mall security are gearing up for Black Friday. They are predicting three to four times the amount of shoppers which can also mean three to four times the amount of incidents. 

Nancy Zastawrny of Spencerport is like many shoppers during the holidays who are preoccupied with lists and things to do and who are caught up in the holiday spirit.

Law enforcement says that's exactly what criminals bank on.

"I definitely park in areas that are well lit...I have to say, I'm not as diligent about looking around and really being aware of my surroundings...but I think during the holiday season, it's way important," said Zastawrny.

"Not to be the grinch but we still need to be focused on what's important. That's being aware of our surroundings." said Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero.

Povero says a few simple rules can lower your chances of becoming a victim.

You're encouraged to secure your packages and belongings in the trunk of your car and out of sight. Don't set you purse, jacket or bags down while you look, and keep your phone and wallet in a purse or pocket.

If you're shopping with your children, don't ever leave them unattended in a stroller, especially with a purse attached. 

"We need to constantly remind ourselves be aware of our surroundings, walk in pairs, walk in pairs to your cars, ask security to walk with you to your car," said Povero.

Maureen Deckman tries to be vigilant about safety, especially when her son is with her.

"I would be most concerned about walking to my car. I'm always looking around my car. I try to get a parking spot that's a little closer and checking my surroundings all the time," said Deckman.

One of the most important messages from law enforcement and mall security: You can call mall security for most situations.

For example, if you can't find your car, you have a dead battery or you feel insecure and want an escort, officers want you to know that help is not that far away. 


Lynette Adams

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