Last Minute Shoppers Take Safety Precautions

With time running out until Christmas day, there's just one thing that has parking lots this filled.

"Shopping. Last minute shopping," exclaims shopper Lashunda Bobbitt.

And with so little time left, shoppers say the procrastination comes with a price.

"People be pushing, somebody may try to hit you for something that's on sale or something like that," Bobbit recounts. "They have Black Friday sales, but really every day during the holidays is Black Friday because everybody's trying to catch some sales."

Shoppers have been out in full force with only finding those last minute presents in mind.

But with last minute shopping on the brain, it can be easy to forget that this is the prime time of year for criminals to be out and about, looking through your windows to see what gifts they can find, too.

Some of the shoppers we spoke to say they remember to take a few extra precautions despite the rush.

"She got her shoulder-bag on her shoulder, and I got mine in my hand and I'm tired of toting it. Yes, we're taking precautions. We won't be out here at night, though," shopper Juanita Norwood says. "We just come in the morning time, and when it gets dark, we're going home."

But the Meridian Police Department has made an extra effort this year to cut down on holiday crimes... by increasing patrols in major shopping areas.

"Anytime you put officer visibility on the street, your crime rates are going to adjust accordingly for it because visibility is what prevents stuff like auto burglary," Lt. John Griffith of the MPD says.

Shoppers say that increased presence helps them to feel much safer while shopping.

"We've seen a lot of them out lately, and I'm impressed," shopper Becky Mitchum notes. "I feel better seeing them out and about. And I appreciate it."