Women practice safe shopping - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Women practice safe shopping

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MADISON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

What's known as a season of giving is unfortunately a season of stealing, according to law enforcement officials.  All agencies across the metro area ramp up patrols in anticipation of criminals preying on shoppers in parking lots.

Police officials warn that shoppers weighed down with presents are prime targets.  For that reason police officers, such as Madison's Amy Divine-Nelson want customers to be on the lookout.

"When you are walking up to your vehicle or walking in a store, be mindful of who's around you," Divine-Nelson said.

As Madison Police show a greater presence at shopping centers this time of year, Jackson Police started "Operation Safe Shop" on November 15.  However, even with the extra protection you are ultimately responsible for looking out for yourself.

Divine-Nelson has some tips to keep women safe.

"They're looking for someone who's not paying attention," Divine-Nelson said. "So, if you look like you know what you are doing, aware of your surroundings, you don't need to be paranoid, but you know where you are going and you know what your task is at hand."

She also has ideas for how woman can carry their purse.  "When you hold it to you (close to the body, not dangling at the shoulder), because all they got to do is cut that strap and run with the purse."

And if your purse is in the cart she says the use the child safety strap to tether your purse to the cart.

She even says those on their cell phone put themselves at a greater risk. "Stay off your cell phone, you need that cell phone in case of an emergency anyway." She says that lack of attention could put you in danger.

Another tip to consider this time of year according to Divine-Nelson is to check with customer service representatives at stores to see if someone is available to escort you to your vehicle.

Shop safely.

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