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Weekend Express with Lynn Smith

Fast-paced look at the day's essential news and buzz-worthy stories

Shopping safety 101: Protect yourself!

  • Are you a target for thievery this holiday season?
  • Mike Brooks breaks down how to stay safe while scouting for deals.

If you're dreaming of Black Friday deals already, you may be the prime time target for a thief looking to steal your holiday loot. Natasha called in law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks to get the scoop on how to stay safe and score some serious deals this season.

1. Brooks cautions women to be aware of what purse they use while shopping. Consider a purse with a secure zipper and strap that you can keep close to you. Purses that only have a snap at the top may make you extremely vulnerable to pickpockets, according to our security expert.

2. Park in a well-lit area during the day! Brooks advises to avoid parking on private residential lots if the store's parking lot becomes overcrowded. Patience is a virtue that can come in handy when waiting for a spot, because parking lot security cameras may catch a crook trying to break into your car. Parking on somebody's private property doesn't offer that same protection.

3. Stashing shopping bags in the trunk is your best bet for those big bargain days. If you're shopping until you drop, make sure you step away from the stores to drop off your stash. Toting around tons of bags can make you MORE of a target. The heavy bags load your hands down and leave you defenseless. Brooks says having your hands free to protect your purse, kids or yourself is key.

4. Educate your kids if they are tagging along. While the best option may be leaving the tiny tots at home, it isn't always an option. Mike Brooks advises parents to write the child's name and telephone number on a slip of paper and place it in their child's pocket. It's also important to clue your kids in on what to do if they get lost and who to ask for help -- like a store clerk or security officer.

Still have questions about how to stay safe while doing your holiday shopping? Let us know!

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