Holiday Shopping Safety

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While holiday shoppers are looking for the perfect gift, local law enforcement officers are keeping watch to ensure  safety.

Mobile command posts are set up at area malls.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter talked with experts about do’s and don’ts of holiday shopping

It’s that time of year when holiday shoppers are looking for deals and thieves are looking for easy targets.

“I do think people do let their guard down,” shopper Kim Williams said.

It’s why deputies with Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office are stepping up patrols in and around shopping areas.

Mobile command posts are in place at three major shopping centers; like Oakwood, Lakeside, and

Clearview Malls.

“It’s just to let people feel a little more confident and more comfortable knowing we’re trying to keep an eye on everybody,” Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Spokesman John Fortunato said.

Trotter asked, “What do you do to stay safe? I try to make sure I park near the store and I come and go when it’s high traffic hours,” Williams replied.

We found Crystal Shouest in the Clearview Mall parking lot talking safety.

“I always watch around me,” Shouest said.

And she’s sure to have her keys handy when approaching her vehicle.

She also careful not to leave packages in plain view.

Trotter asked, “What about locking doors? Oh my doors are always locked.”

The same can’t be said for the driver of this silver Lexus.

We found the door wide-open and the owner nowhere in sight.

“Oh no,” Shouest reacted.”That is unreal. That’s asking for it and then they’re going to cry when somebody takes their stuff.”

Assuming the owner was inside the mall, Crystal jotted down the license plate number and alerted mall security.

They took a quick survey and noticed the package inside.

Eventually the guards closed the door for what may have been an eager shopper.

“Hurry or not, you’re going to close your doors,” Shouest said. “I would never do that and I would put my stuff in the truck so nobody would see it anyways.”

Experts say try not to carry large amounts of cash.

They say charge cards are safer. They suggest holding onto credit card receipts and checking for unauthorized charges when the statement arrives.