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TCSO cautions shoppers on Black Friday

The Troup County Sheriff’s Office is urging the safety of shoppers this Black Friday.

TCSO Sgt. Stewart Smith said one of the most important things to do when shopping is to keep your car locked when going in and out of stores.

“It’s 2020 and for some reason people still don’t lock their cars,” Smith said. “Lock your cars no matter where you are at. Even if it is your driveway.”

He added that shoppers should stow away their purchased goods in the trunk of the car. He added that if someone drives an SUV and doesn’t have a trunk to put items in the way back and to cover them up.

“Additionally, don’t advertise what you bought,” Smith said. “Make sure you keep up with your receipts, because ID theft and credit card financial theft is huge. If somebody gets ahold of your financial information, you will obviously need to be able to dispute that.”

This year Walmart in LaGrange won’t be opening until 5 a.m. the morning of Black Friday. He encouraged shoppers to stay calm and patient while shopping.

“If you’re shopping at night or early morning try to shop with a shopping buddy,” Smith said. “In years past we’ve had problems between the large crowds and disputes. For the most part, people around here tend to behave themselves on shopping day.”

Smith said Walmart typically hires off-duty officers to manage the crowds.

He added that if people are shopping online, to remember to break down packages and don’t leave them outside the home for potential perpetrators to see.

“If you know you are having packages delivered, make sure somebody gets them or they are delivered in an inconspicuous location,” Smith said. “Make sure you’re shopping on secure websites.”