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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

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“Black Friday” Safety Tips

November 19, 2013

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It is considered the biggest shopping day of the year. However, it is also a big day for criminals. Before you leave your home in search of the bargains, there are a few things you should consider regarding safety.

Crime Prevention Tips While Shopping

  • Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
  • Shop with a friend; there is safety in numbers.
  • Don’t buy more than you can safely carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend or ask a store employee to help you carry your purchases to your vehicle.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Pay for purchases with check, credit or debit card.
  • Carry your purse close to your body. Carry it under your arm and not swinging to the back of your body.
  • Do not carry a wallet in a back pocket. It should be in the front pocket of your pants to avoid pickpocketing.
  • Thieves or robbers often look for “high value” shopping bags with your purchases. When possible, slip bags/purchases in a plain nondescript bag.
  • Watch purchases when eating at mall food courts; bags can be easily switched or taken.
  • Have your car keys in hand before leaving a store.
  • If you do return to your vehicle to unload packages, place them in the trunk. Do not leave anything visible.
  • If you are with children, pick a meeting spot in case you get separated.
  • If you must use the ATM, use it before Black Friday.

Crime Prevention Tips in Parking Lots

  • If possible, avoid shopping during hours of evening or early morning darkness. 
  • Park in a high visibility area with good lighting and ample pedestrian traffic.
  • Stay in your car with the doors locked until the store opens.
  • Avoid parking next to vehicles with dark tinted windows, vans and large SUV’s.
  • Try to walk with others, not alone.
  • Walk briskly, confidently and directly through the parking lot. Be cautious of people handing out fliers or asking questions in the parking area.
  • Watch for people who may be following you. If you sense someone is following you or you feel un­comfortable, return immediately to the store.
  • You may want to consider having a whistle in your possession.
  • Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by a cell phone call or text while walking to and from your vehicle.


Thank you,

Sergeant L. J. Smith

New Orleans Police Department

Commander, Crime Prevention Unit

715 S. Broad Avenue, Office # A- 412

New Orleans, LA 70119

(504) 658-5590 – Office Phone - Email


For Police Service

(504) 822-1111 – Crime Stoppers

(504) 822-2222 - Non-Emergency

911 – Emergency

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Last updated: 11/19/2013 12:16:28 PM

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