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Posted November 21, 2012 | comments 14 Comments

Police prepare for Black Friday patrol

By Joe Beck

Shoppers spilling into stores looking for bargains on the day after Thanksgiving may find police on patrol keeping a watch for something else: shoplifters, thieves and other property-related crimes.

Police forces in Winchester, Front Royal and Woodstock have all assigned extras officers to areas likely to see the heaviest shopping traffic in their communities on Thursday night and Friday.

"We'll be having four additional officers working up around the Wal-Mart retail area, just as visible presence to encourage everybody to be safe," said Woodstock Police Chief Eric Reilly.

People caught up in shopping may leave themselves vulnerable to others intent on stealing, law enforcement officials say.

It could be the driver who forgets to lock up a car and returns from a store to find newly purchased electronic devices and other valuables gone. Or maybe a shopper turns her back on a shopping cart in which she put a purse and has her day ruined by a thief who disappears with it into a swirling throng.

Front Royal Chief Norman Shiflett said extra officers will be "on the lookout for criminal activities," around the Kmart and Food Lion stores off John Marshall Highway.

"I would tell people not to leave their pocketbook in vehicles or their vehicles unlocked," Shiflett said.

Shiflett, Reilley and Winchester Police Department Crime Prevention Specialist Lauren Cummings also offered the following tips for shoppers to protect their property while shopping:

  • If shopping early on Friday, park in areas with good lighting.

  • Be aware of your surroundings.

  • Shop with a friend or group.

  • Place shopping bags in your trunk.

  • Leave purses at home and carry identification and credit cards in a front pocket. Those who still choose to carry a purse should use one with a long strap that can be worn over the head and concealed within a jacket.
  • Reilley said his department will also be watching for motorists in need of help around Interstate 81.

    "We don't expect any problems," Reilly said. "Obviously when you have increased shopping and great deals like on Black Friday, it's going to increase shopping, and it's going to increase traffic. We're just trying to discourage criminal activity."

    Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

    14 Comments |

      I can't wait to rush into the walmart, and fight the crowd....and bring back my good deal and leave my vehicle unlocked....NOT. I guess I'm a man, most men do not participate in this nonsense. Although Best Buy was advertising a nice refrigerator......if my frigge was on the outs.

      I'm glad the police are out there keeping a lookout. I can understand how these shoppers,once they get their bargain, can forget about onlookers (prospectors)

      Most of the time I carry my wallet in my front pocket....somewhat because of the fear of scanners....but the credit/gas card tend to not wear out as much.

      Good luck Black/Blue/Red friday shoppers. and god bless.,

      Shop anywhere but "BOYCOTT WALMART" Help show the corporate giants that employee's matter and are worth more than $7.50 an hour.
      Just remember that 80% of Walmart employee's qualify for "Food Stamps".

        Why would someone boycott Wal-Mart? If the employees don't like the pay, they can go work someplace else. No one is forcing them to work for Wal-Mart.

        $7.50 an hour is just starting pay walking in the door, most folks are making more than that. After two years, most are making $9.50 an hour or more. I know someone who has one of the lower paying jobs in the store, a porter/cart pusher. He's making well over $10 an hour, and he says he loves his job working for Wal-Mart. Don't believe all that Union hogwash, they just want to get folks in an uproar with talk of higher pay and benefits. so they can increase the number of paying members.

        Look what happened to the Hostess employees, now 18,000 people don't have jobs, thanks to a Union.

          I have been in upper retail management for years and there is money there (in management only) but you definately deserve it with all that you are required to do and put up with. Now employees do not make much and I can tell you a $2 raise in 2 years doesn't sound right. I know the payscale and percentage of raise based on yearly reviews score. In your friends case he probably was reclassified to a different position to get that much, that sounds more like it. Some of those people have no choice but to work those positions; economics, intellegience and personal situations (husband leaves a stay at home mother and now she is thrust into working to support herself and possibly the children). Besides, I am sure if you wanted to quit what your job and do something completely different than what you have been employed doing, it wouldn't be easy to switch out of the field your employed in to a different field of employment and the same goes for most retail workers. Retail and food service are two sectors that need someone to help the hourly workers.

          JT: The average Walmart wage is $8.81 an hour and close to 80% of Walmart employee's qualify for food stamps and YOU think that's a good wage? Where do you live?Fantasy land? or with your parents?

            I agree with you Motor Man. I know too many people around here who have worked for Walmart and they are barely getting by. Most of them have told me they are not able to afford the health insurance offered by Walmart. So much for Walmart's 'benefits'.

            JT says if the employees don't like the pay, they can go someplace else? Does he even have a clue that for most of the people who work there, for various reasons, they don't have a big choice in jobs available to them? They keep that job with Walmart because they have to.

        Don't feed the trolls.

      7.50 to $9:50 pay increase in 2 years, thats a nice pay increase for 2 years. I guess like any job, the ones that stick with it and show there reliablilty see better money and job security.

      I have a friend that works in management (walmart), and make good money for this area.

      Walmart has a base rate that they start you out with then add an amount for each year of prior continual employment. If you apply yourself and show your managers you are a good worker, you will get your raises. I shot up to $10.78/hour in a little over 8 months. There are some department managers (merchandise supervisors) who have been there 10, 15, 20 years and they are around the $19/hour range right now.
      I go into walmart and see the employees on their cell phones yapping away while they are on the floor and supposed to be working. Nobody wants to help you when you are having trouble finding an item then if you can get their attention, they don't know squat about their products.
      Don't forget that walmart employees continually get stock shares throughout the year for showing good workmanship and customer service, and they get that end of the year bonus which is usually a very generous amount.
      As with any job, you will not prosper if you don't apply yourself. If your friends at walmart are only making $8/hour then they are only showing $8/hour effort.

        OCMe, You sure don't know too much about the True Walmart. They are up on charges of International law breaking by bribing Gov. Leaders in multible counties. BIGGEST U.S. employer with lowest wages and non-affordable health care. 38 hour workweeks to prevent full time status. Products sold with "Made in U.S.A. labels" but produced in China. And let us NOT forget how many small business owners that were DRIVEN out of business because of Walmart selling products BELOW cost in order to gain control over the market place.
        Do yourself a favor and stop watching FOX news and spend time researching all the FACTs about the TRUE Walmart and then reply please.

      I guess Uncle Sammy Walton is turning over in his grave. I'm not sure how much of the "made in @#@#" merchandise was happening during his tenure.

      Maybe communities need to come together and set up shop having food coop's in fire dept's and church's. I'm not sure bout other merchandise coop's (co-op's ) though. What do you think Diane?

      And to you JT: The union was not the problem so get your head out of your A%%
      The CEO of Hostess was trying to cut the bakers pay by 8% and benifits by 32% while he himself took a 300% raise.
      And during the companies second bankrupcy filing the executives all took between 60 to 100% raises while stopping contribution to the workers pention funds.
      On top of it all this company is owned by a hedge fund from Wall Street and we know how they operate, just ask all the workers fired by Romney's Bain Capital when they closed profitable companies all over America.

      I tried to link it for the proof wanters, but the information is easily found online.

      WalMart is subsidized by the taxpayer to the tune of 1.5 BILLION dollars a year to make up for their low wage jobs.

      Google: SumOfUS + WalMart at 50

      You are an idiot to shop there and a bigger idiot to actually defend that company. Like everything else, it won't be until its too late that people actually pay attention.

      Pros and Cons on issues are always prevalent.
      Employees deserve to be paid a wage commensurate to their value as a consciencious, knowledgeable employee and their contribution to the success of their employer.
      Walmart could afford to pay their employees more. The price of products would take a huge hit. Some Walmart employees are there because that's all they could find. For some, they simply couldn't qualify for anything that required more education or experience. For others drug-screening is a problem. Not in every case but certainly in a high percentage of cases the products our retailers sell come from olther countries simply because those products are not manufactured in the United States or the domestically manufactured products are too expensive for their average customer. Competition in the marketplace is supposed to level the playing field. Limited boycotting of the retail giant would do little to solve the issue for their employees. Anyone want to pay more for groceries at Martin's, Food Lion or other grocery retailers who have the same wage/benefits issues with their employees? Walmart has actually forced the hand of their competition and brought prices down at these stores simply by being there.
      Walmart sets the price they are willing to pay for some products because of the volume they are able to buy and sell.
      Higher wages will come when there are more higher paying jobs available in America and businesses like Walmart have to compete for available workforce.


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