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APD: Stay Alert on Black Friday to Avoid Stolen Christmas Gifts

Published On: Nov 28 2013 06:32:26 PM AKST


For many people, holiday shopping starts on Black Friday.

But before the chase for good deals kicks off, Anchorage police remind everyone to stay alert and to make sure they use common sense.

"We want to caution folks to be aware of certain criminal elements that maybe out there watching for you being unaware," said Anita Shell, APD spokesperson. 

There has been a rise of theft cases over the past year.

Statistics show thefts from vehicles have increased by 40 percent. Shoplifting is up 25 percent. 

That means thieves will likely target purchases while the crowds are out after Thanksgiving.

Electronics are the most at risk, according to police. 

"Somebody buying a big screen TV, leaving it in the back of their vehicle, they come back out from round two of shopping and the TV is gone, and the vehicle window is broken," Shell said.  

There are a few easy ways to avoid any problems.

Police recommend parking cars in well-lit areas and maybe even re-parking if making multiple trips to the same shopping location.

Doors should be locked, and shopping bags should be hidden in the trunk or covered.

And people should be wary of showing off their purchases too much when they get home. 

"If you can view the presents from the street, refrain from putting them under the tree, otherwise you might end up being a victim of a burglary," Shell said.

APD also recommends against carrying large amounts of cash and documenting and photographing valuables in case something is stolen. 

Suspicious activity can be reported to Anchorage Police at 786-8900.