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Safety important to remember while shopping on Black Friday

If you’re heading out to do some Black Friday shopping, staying safe should be one of your top priorities. (WCHS/WVAH)

If you’re heading out to do some Black Friday shopping, staying safe should be one of your top priorities.

When shoppers have their eye on those Black Friday deals, police will have their eyes on the shoppers, and others potentially who are out to steal or put others in harm’s way.

"There will be a lot of chaos, a lot of travel a lot of shopping and in that chaos, sometimes we get a little distracted, which means we're not paying attention to our surrounding as well as we should be,” Charleston Police Chief Steve Cooper said.

Cooper said as you move from store to store it is important to keep a checklist in your mind for things like your keys, wallet and shopping bags, and if you leave those bags in the car, make sure they are completely out of sight.

"There will be people going around trying to get into vehicles, someone will have someone stolen from their car this weekend, so don't be that person,” Cooper said.

Cooper suggests parking in a well-lit area and only using ATMs that are in a well-lit, busy area to deter potential thieves.

"We have Christmas patrols from now until after Christmas in the mall. We will have officers working every day there to assist people if they would like an escort to their car. They'll be in there as a general deterrent for any mischief or criminal activity,” Cooper said.

Cooper said thieves won’t just be around the shops. He said homes are targets as well.

"They are driving around the neighborhood, they are looking for packages especially this time of year being left unattended on porches,” Cooper said.

After shopping, it is important to destroy boxes and receipts that would show what you have purchased before throwing them out so thieves can’t figure out what valuables are in your home by simply going through your trash.

In addition to police being in and around the downtown area on Black Friday, the Charleston Police Hybrid Unit will also be patrolling on Small Business Saturday.

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