NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - 'Tis the season to hit the malls and shop for the holidays. But, while your mind is on the family members you are buying for, a thief's mind is on who would be his best target.
In order to help prevent people from falling victim to holiday shopping crimes, North Little Rock Police Sgt. Brian Dedrick is offering some advice.
"If you feel uncomfortable walking out with your bags at night, please call our non-emergency number (501-758-1234) and we'll make sure we send an officer over to walk you out," Dedrick said.
North Little Rock Police Dept. partners with certain retailers to have off-duty officers on-call for shopper protection. Dedrick said to enjoy the season, but be mindful of surroundings.
"Park in a well-lit area, as you can see in the mall there's a lot of lighting. Have your keys in hand when you approach your vehicle," Dedrick advised. "A lot of keys have lights on them. Hit it and light up the area."
Some retailers increase patrol around the holidays as well, especially on Black Friday, when many people are out late at night purchasing big-ticket items.
"I'll have about five guys off of my security team here at the store and then we'll have three off-duty police officers will be here helping us out as well," said Brandon White with Target.
White said the Target on McCain Boulevard in North Little Rock expects a large turnout and their post-Thanksgiving sale actually begins Thursday night. His advice to customers is to be patient during the hustle and bustle of Black Friday.
"Just be prepared to deal with the crowds and be prepared to wait," White suggested. "If everybody is prepared to wait, then things would probably go a little smoother than they have in the past."
Dedrick reminded everyone that life is far more valuable than belongings. He stressed that if anyone demands items, to hand them over, and report any suspicious activity to police.