Miami Twp. police plan to have extra patrols on duty this holiday season, a time when more than 100 million people are expected to shop.
The National Retail Federation estimates 115-million people nationwide will go shopping on Black Friday this year and shoppers need to be more alert, according to police who patrol Austin Landing and the Dayton Mall.
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“The most important thing you can do to be safe is be aware of your surroundings,” Miami Twp. Capt. John Magill said. “Make sure you look around in the parking lot for anything suspicious and keep your packages close to you at all times.”
Police urged shoppers to take the following precautions:
• Be aware of your environment and what is going on around you. Don’t talk on the cell phone while driving or walking to and from your car.
• Lock doors and windows before you leave your home.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
• Park in well-lit areas and keep car doors locked, even at home!
• Keep valuable items in the trunk or out of sight (take them home when possible).
• When at the bank or ATM, pay attention to what is around you and check the ATM for tampering or evidence of a skimming device.
• Shop with friends and family when possible.
Protect your property by:
• Be sure your personal computer has up-to-date security software.
• Do not respond to requests to ‘verify’ your passwords.
• Use secure websites for your purchases.
• Anyone asking you to obtain ‘gift cards’ or ‘store cards’ unsolicited by phone or online is very likely a scam.
• Don’t leave delivered packages sitting visibly on your porch for extended periods of time. Have a friend or neighbor secure them for you if necessary.