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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local Carolina Beach Police Beat: Be a Smart and Safe Shopper

Carolina Beach Police Beat: Be a Smart and Safe Shopper

By STEVE STANTON
Carolina Beach Police Advisory Cmt.

CAROLINA BEACH - The busiest shopping days of the year have arrived, and the Carolina Beach Police Department wants to remind shoppers to be careful at area malls, retail outlets, downtown businesses and other stores throughout the holiday season. Chief Kurt Bartley says the holiday season can be a perfect time for criminals to commit shopping-related thefts. Shoppers should stay alert and be mindful of their surroundings.
The Chief reminds us to always be aware of where you are and if you notice something suspicious, report it. Shoppers should keep wallets, purses or merchandise hidden and vehicle doors locked. 
Taking these steps decrease the chances of someone breaking into your car and taking something that you value. If a shopper wishes to continue shopping, they should lock their possession in the trunk and move their vehicle to another location before re-entering the store or mall.
Leaving that new big flat screen TV in the backseat while you re-enter the store to continue shopping is not a good idea. 
This also could decrease your chance of vehicle thefts. While thefts or break-ins to vehicles are on the rise this time of year, crimes such as purse snatching are not to be forgotten. 
Women should hold or secure their purses tightly and not leave them unattended. 
Men may wish to move your wallet to a front pocket while shopping in stores. Shoppers are also advised to carry as little cash and as few credit and debit cards as possible.
Someone may be watching you as you checkout of a retailer and notice the money you have.
Displaying too much cash may lead to you being a victim in a parking lot. It is also advisable for shoppers to travel in pairs and shop during the day. But if shoppers
are alone while evening shopping, they should park in a well lighted area and if you are unsure, consider requesting a security escort to your vehicle from the store or mall.
Before a day / evening of shopping or leaving a store, shoppers should call a friend or family member to inform them of their whereabouts and their shopping or travel plan.  Leaving such information will make it easier for family or friends to locate you if you do not make your destination.
Above all, shoppers should be vigilant. Remember, no police department believes your call is unimportant.  By reporting suspicious activity, you may be preventing a crime.
The Carolina Beach Police Beat is brought to you by the Carolina Beach Police Advisory Committee (CBPAC).
The Next meeting of the CBPAC will be Monday, January 7th at 7 PM in the Carolina Beach Police Department  Training Room at the rear of Town Hall.  Residents are invited to bring their concerns to the meeting.