Safety tips to know before shopping on Black Friday

Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Endless discounts have eager consumers ready to splurge for the holidays — but with an uptick in sales also comes an increase in theft.

“The holiday season makes it easier for criminals because they know more people are going to be out,” Monroe County’s Sheriff Deputy Brendan Hurley said. “There’s larger crowds, there’s more opportunity.”

The National Retail Federation reported last year that more than 174 million Americans shopped from Thanksgiving through Cyber ​​Monday. As retailers prepare for large crowds, security and law enforcement ramp up their presence as well.

“We’ll be doing interior and exterior patrols around the mall,” Ontario County Sheriff’s Deputy Conor Boyer said. “Bikes are out to be able to assist with things in the parking lot as the parking lot gets very crowded. We’re here year round and security is always here as well. We work hand in hand with them to provide the best safety we can for everyone.”

They’re hoping shoppers keep in mind these tips to protect themselves and others.

“It starts at home, right? When you know you’re going to go out, you’re going to be shopping all day,” Hurley said. “Make sure your cell phone’s charged all the way and make sure it’s ready to go. Don’t let anybody see inside your wallet. Make sure everything’s close to you.”

Taking these extra precautions will assure protection of your belongings and your safety.

“They’re safe, that this is a very safe place to be and that the people who take care of this mall do a very good job,” Deputy Boyer said. “With everything regarding public safety.”

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