LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Savings, deals, and long lines galore. Black Friday is a bargain shopper's dream, and the busiest day of the year for major retailers.
"It's definitely a busy day," said Kyle Cross, Target's executive team leader for human resources. "You get a big crowd, multiple people trying to rush in and get the same thing. It can get hectic really fast, however, here at Target, we have great crowd management control plans."
With the increased number of people shopping at stores all over Lufkin, there's an increase in potential theft.
"The crimes that we see an increase in are basically thefts," said Lufkin Chief of Police Gerald Williamson. "Burglary of motor vehicles are number one."
So what shoppers do to protect their belongings?
"When you park your car, lock it, hide your valuables, or take everything out of the vehicle and make sure you take your keys," Williamson said.
What should shoppers do when they get into the stores?
"Carry a small bag and put your wallet and all your small items in it and keep it close to you with a tight knot on top," Cross said.
Most shoppers will make multiple stops at different stores, potentially leaving those valued new purchases in the car, while they go into the store.
"You want to make sure you put all your purchases from the first store or the second store into the back of your trunk," Cross said. "You want to keep it locked up there; that way no one can look in your car and see what's going on."
"On the big ticket items, definitely record your serial numbers, make and model," Williamson said. "If those things are stolen, the only chance we have of recovering those is the serial number."
What about safety for online shoppers?
"Identity theft is still a big, big problem for us," Williamson said. "Make sure you only use sites that you trust."
Before entering any credit card information, make sure the Website is secure by looking for a green lock in the URL line.
"It looks like a little bolt lock," Cross said. "You want to make sure you see that in the URL when you're purchasing. If it doesn't have that, it probably means the website isn't secure."
Retailers and law enforcement encourage shoppers to be aware of their surroundings, use caution, but to relax and have fun, Black Friday only comes once a year, after all.