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Black Friday creeps deeper into the holiday

Posted on Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 11:59 am

3 - opin Black-Eye Friday cartoonBlack Friday shopping — the annual rite of passage on the day after Thanksgiving — continues to creep deeper into the holiday as more stores opened their doors a day early.

For a decade, Black Friday has been considered the official start to the busy holiday buying season. Stores open earlier hours of the morning with special deals and stay open late into the evening.

Thanksgiving and Christmas remained the only two days a year that stores were closed until this year. But is Thanksgiving becoming just another day of the year?

Local stores in Franklin, Coffee and Lincoln counties opened on Thursday this year to deal out their door busters and bring in the early birds a day sooner.

Walmart, Big Lots, CVS, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walgreens were some of the stores open on turkey day.

With Walmart’s big sale items like televisions being discounted by close to 50 percent and Walgreen’s featuring 25 percent off regularly priced items, the sales were hard for shoppers to resist.

For those braving the crowds today, law enforcement personnel are urging shoppers to be on their toes. Unfortunately, thieves also anticipate this busy season as they look to turn unaware shoppers into Black Friday victims.

Black Friday shopping safety tips from the National Crime Prevention Council:

• Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or asking a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.

• Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in.

• Don’t flash the cash. Consider alternate options to pay for merchandise, such as one time or multiuse disposable credit cards or money orders, including at online stores.

• Wait until asked by a cashier before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.

• Be informed about your surroundings. Use the free mobile app available from AlertID to receive alerts about registered sex offenders living and working in the vicinity of your shopping venue.

• Deter pick pockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.

• Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the vehicle before getting in.

• Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.

• Do not leave packages visible in your vehicle. Lock them in the trunk or if possible take them directly home.