MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Black Friday is coming up quickly. It's on November 25th, a day that signals the official beginning of a shopping frenzy and arrival of grinches looking to steal your holiday cheer and cash.
Many Memphians prefer to shop in Mississippi, believing it to be safer. But is it?
The perception is that Mississippi is a safer shopping destination than Memphis. And despite a recent incident at one of Southaven’s biggest shopping areas, law enforcement south of the Tennessee state line say bring on the holiday shoppers.
“It’s not what we’re used to over here in Southaven," says Detective Mark Little of the Southaven Police Department.
Little was referring to a shooting incident outside JC Penny late Saturday, November 5, 2011.
Two bad guys demanded money and a cell phone from their victim.
“All those things were in the vehicle and he told them that,” Little says, “but one of the individuals shot him in the leg.”
“That’s very out of the ordinary,” Sgt. Fred Sims of the Southaven Police Department tells abc24.com. “Most of the things that happen at that mall occur on the inside of the mall.”
Things like credit card fraud and identity theft are the most common, according to Sims.
Still, incidents like the shooting could frighten away potential shoppers.
“That makes me a little scared to go out and shop," Korneisha Washington tells abc24.com.
Not to worry, says Sgt. Sims.
“We’ll step up patrols and there will be two extra cars in that area," he says.
And that’s not all.
“There will be foot patrols in the parking lots,” Sims said, “and inside going from store to store.”
Officers also caution shoppers to use some common sense. Failing to conceal your packages could actually get you ticketed.
“This is just a courtesy ticket we issue,” Sims tells abc24.com. “It's just a reminder to place your items away safely.”
Southaven Police also promise to be more aggressive, and that includes making more traffic stops to prevent the bad guys from getting around town.
So with all those measures in place, the SPD offers Memphians and all Mid-Southerners an invitation.
“Just come to Southaven to shop," says Sgt. Sims. "We’ll be here to keep you safe.”
The cops also want to tell any potential criminals planning to prey on Southaven’s holiday shoppers, prepare to have a good time, in jail.
Savy shopper Korneisha Washington has some advice for her fellow bargain hunters. She says it's best to just carry a credit card in your pocket, instead of a purse or anything else that could make you a target.