Houston & Peach

Hobby Lobby incident a good reminder to be vigilant when holiday shopping

Black Friday shoppers make it an all-nighter

Door busters lacked the usual mobs early on Black Friday on Nov. 25, 2016. Many shoppers began their holiday by late Thursday, instead.
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Door busters lacked the usual mobs early on Black Friday on Nov. 25, 2016. Many shoppers began their holiday by late Thursday, instead.

With the holiday shopping season about to hit high gear and a recent incident at a Hobby Lobby on Watson Boulevard, now’s a good time to brush up on safe shopping tips.

The No. 1 tip is to be aware of your surroundings, said Houston County sheriff’s Lt. Jon Holland.

“And just be aware that there are people looking to take advantage of you during the busy shopping season,” he said.

Holland noted the incident at the Hobby Lobby store, in which one woman distracted another shopper and then the woman’s partner in crime lifted the shopper’s wallet out of her purse.

The sheriff’s office is looking for help in identifying the two suspects, posting photos of the two women taken from store surveillance video on Facebook in an effort to find them.

After leaving the Hobby Lobby, the suspects used the victim’s credit cards at multiple locations. The suspects may have been in a white Nissan Rogue, according to the sheriff’s Facebook post.

Anyone who can identify the suspects or has related information is asked to contact sheriff’s Cpl. Pittard Chapman at 478-542-2085.

Other safe shopping tips include:

▪ Don’t buy more than you can carry;

▪ Don’t flash cash;

▪ Keep purses and wallets close to your body;

▪ Park in a well-lighted area;

▪ Have your keys in hand when returning to your vehicle;

▪ Keep packages in your trunk;

▪ And shop in pairs whenever possible.

Safe Shopping Tips

▪ Do not buy more than you can carry.

▪ Save all receipts.

▪ Don’t flash the cash.

▪ Deter pickpockets by keeping purses and wallets close to your body.

▪ Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle.

▪ Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.

▪ Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package.

▪ Do not leave packages visible in your car. Lock them in the trunk, or if possible, take them directly home.

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