You could say the holiday season brings out the best and yes, the worst in people. Police say thieves are ready to target shoppers who are out to spread holiday cheer. We spoke with some shoppers who say they always try to be aware of their surroundings.
Shopper Carmelita Wise says, "even if you think it’s a safe area, even if you think it’s crowded, always make sure you’re looking around.”
Also, holiday shopper Teresa Anderson shares, “I think the biggest tip for women, especially is to not be alone at night. Be kind, you don’t have to be scared. Just be confident, walk confidently and keep an eye on what’s going on around you.”
Police want to make sure people stay safe during these shopping holidays, and one thing they want you to always keep in mind. “I know it’s a cellphone age but if you’re distracted then you are not paying attention to what’s going on around you, says Columbia Police Officer Daniel Avery with the Community Response Team. He also shares, “be attentive and always have a plan. If you are attentive to what’s going on, it’s going to help you in the long run. But always have a plan, what if? What if this occurred, what if that occurred? It’s the environment that we live in, anything can happen at any given moment.”
Police also say, park in a well-lighted space, lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk. and never think "oh it won't happen to me."
Wise says, “no, I don’t ever think that it won’t ever happen, because you just have to be careful because the advent of so many people not having and the need and the want, you just have to be careful.”