Know these shopping safety precautions for the holiday season

The holiday shopping season is here and local malls want to make sure you stay safe while out shopping.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Whether you’re ready or not, the holiday shopping season is here and local malls want to make sure you stay safe while out shopping.

“Normally, Black Friday is the busiest weekend of the year for us and we think this season will be no exception,” said Jim Wofford, who is the general manager for MacArthur Center.

Wofford has worked at MacArthur Center and says preparation is key for the holidays.

He wants customers to also be prepared by knowing a few tips when hitting stores, because not everyone will be out to shop.

“We like to think everyone’s here to have a good time, but there’s always that element that’s looking for an opportunity,” he said.

Wofford recommends to always be aware of your surroundings.

That includes knowing where you park your vehicle and finding the shortest distance from your car to entrances.

Once inside, he recommends not having your hands full of bags.

To help with this problem, Wofford says security guards and customer service can help escort you to your car to place the items inside so you can continue shopping.

He also recommends that women use cross body purses and that men should always put their cards and cash right back into their wallets after paying.

“Put it in your front pocket, which is a safe place to know where it is,” Wofford said.

Once it’s time to leave, Wofford says to have your keys ready.

“So you can hit your locks, open your door, put your shopping in, get in your cars, and lock your doors,” he said.

Wofford says extra security guards and off duty Norfolk police officers will be on patrol this weekend to make sure customers are safe but, if shoppers have concerns and do not feel safe, Wofford says mall employee are there to help.

“If you see one of our officers, let us know.We would rather you be secure and aware of your surroundings than not. Tell us anytime you see anything strange or see someone strange and unusual,” he said.