Tulsa Police offer holiday shopping safety tips

Friday, December 14th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

With few more shopping days left this holiday, area malls should be packed. More crowds also mean open season for thieves, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Six in Your Corner reporter Diane White visited a Tulsa mall with advice to help you shop safely.

It's already busy at Tulsa Promenade - but if you're heading to the mall, one thing you should keep at home is your cash. Tulsa Police say it's safer if you shop with checks or a credit card. The mall does have extra security on hand inside to make sure shoppers stay safe. Stores are open longer, crowds are getting bigger, and so safety becomes a priority. A shopper, "I just watch out for the people around me and make sure I'm aware of the people around me - and keep an eye on that and my things just keep them close to me." Another shopper, "I always look around whenever I'm going to my car or coming away from car - going out coming in, hold my purse - make sure I hold on to my purse - check it at all times." That's when shoppers are the biggest targets - outside the mall.

Tulsa Police Officer Andy Phillips, "Every year at this time - all of our theft and larceny statistics go through the roof because people are out - they're shopping - there's more things to steal and if you're a bad guy looking for someone to take advantage of this is the prime time of year." His advice, shop with a friend or in a group - especially late, and watch how you carry packages. "That's the perfect example of a lady with too many packages in her hand and purse dangling down. If I was of a mind to run up - want to steal something - I could just grab the purse, packages and be gone."

Purses can be a problem. "Like your purse it's better if you carry a fanny pack or a clutch purse - because this is so easy to grab, I usually carry it like this. She's actually doing pretty good - except for that purse get yourself a clutch purse - okay thank you.” Another potential danger - if a hanging purse or packages distract you - and it's late - you also become a target for carjackers. Most of this is common sense - but it's easy to forget when you're rushing around the mall.