Police remind shoppers to stay vigilant

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Police say as shoppers come out in full force this weekend, thieves may also be out to score some deals.

North Charleston Crime Prevention Officer Maria Leahy says she's been visiting area retailers with a warning.

"Sometimes people do come into our shopping districts with the intent to shoplift," Ofc. Leahy said.

She's been giving the stores tips on spotting shoplifters, like watching out for customers who avoid eye contact. She also gave out worksheets with diagrams so stores can take note of physical characteristics of a suspect.

"If they call loss prevention or call the police department, they can provide a description of the possible person that's leaving their store with shoplifted goods," Ofc. Leahy said.

Officers are also telling shoppers to stay alert and avoid overloading themselves with too many purchases.

Additionally police will be checking your cars in the parking lot, and if they see anything that could be unsafe you could get a warning.

"We're also checking the parking lots in our shopping retail districts to make sure people are not leaving packages in the vehicles easily visible to people that want to break into cars," Ofc. Leahy said.

Shoppers say now is the time to remain extra vigilant.

"I make sure I lock the car. Make sure I don't leave anything inside the car. Make sure everything is put in the trunk. Jobs are hard to find and people are just looking for an easy way to pick up whatever they can from somebody else," Mary Waliszewski said.

Some other safety tips include: shop during the day, don't shop alone at night, stay alert to your surroundings, don't overload yourself with packages, and beware of strangers who approach you who may be trying to distract you to steal your things