Happy Thanksgiving, Temple Terrace! Today, you are no doubt gathering with family and friends, eating turkey and stuffing, and thinking about what you’re thankful for.
And tomorrow, most of you will either head back to work or spend the day avoiding the mall. According to our unscientific poll, “Are you a Black Friday Shopper,” the majority of participants said they think people who try to fight the crowds at stores the day after Thanksgiving are crazy.
Out of the 17 people who took part in the survey (as of Wednesday afternoon), nine participants or 52 percent of voters said they would not be shopping on Black Friday.
The rest of the responses were split between the other two answer options. Four people or 23 percent of voters said they would be waking up early tomorrow and joining the masses in search of holiday deals. Four people also said they weren’t sure if they would be participating in the mayhem.
You can still weigh in with your opinion by participating in the poll.
Whether you head out to the stores tomorrow or not, chances are you’re going shopping at some point before Christmas. We combined holiday shopping safety tips we received from the Temple Terrace Police Department, the Tampa Police Department and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office into the following list.
- Park in well-lit areas, and always lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk even if you only plan to be gone for a few minutes. Do not leave valuables in plain view inside your vehicle.
- If possible, shop before dark. Coordinate shopping trips with a friend if you plan to be out late.
- Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you. If you see people “hanging around” parking garages, parking lots, or the outside of stores, avoid the area. Notify the police or security department.
- Avoid carrying large amount of cash; pay with check or credit card whenever possible.
- Limit the amount of jewelry you wear.
- Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Don’t leave purses unattended in shopping carts even for a moment. Keep a wallet in an inside jacket pocket, not a back trouser pocket.
- Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Don’t overburden yourself with packages. Have your purchases delivered whenever practical.
- Have your keys in hand when you return to your car. Always check the interior of your car before you unlock the door to get in.
- Teach your children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if they should become separated in a store or shopping mall. They should never go into a parking lot alone.