How shoppers can make it more difficult for thieves

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NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Most stores may be closed Thanksgiving Day, but shoppers will be out in full force Friday.

Black Friday means the holiday shopping season is in full swing. And with more people expected to be visiting stores during the next month, police are asking shoppers to take some simple steps to protect their belongings.

“Only takes half a second for somebody to decide to take your things. Just that minute when you are looking away is a time if somebody’s watching you, then that’s when they’ll take it,” said Capt. John Marshall, with the Niles Police Department.

Marshall says people should always keep an eye on their purses and wallets. Not just in retail locations, but grocery stores, too, since some people will keep those items in a cart and turn away to grab something from the shelves.

“A lot of times people are in and out of it for a grocery list or something else and so not only is the purse there and not being watched a lot of times, it’s open and you can see a wallet sticking out of it,” Marshall said.

Marshall also suggests using a cross-body bag instead of a traditional purse since they’re worn around your body. Shopper Jeanne Bowser already does that.

“I wear my cross-body bag because it’s convenient, and you have your hands free. You don’t have to worry about setting it down and forgetting it somewhere, just always right around my neck. You don’t have to worry about someone grabbing it out of your arm and running,” she said.

Even retail officials have some advice, too, especially when it comes to bags full of gifts.

“If you are going to do some shopping over an extended period of time, you want to take your gifts and whatever you have out to your vehicle and put that out of sight. Don’t leave it on a seat. Put it in the trunk,” said Cafaro Co. spokesperson Joe Bell.

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