Fayette County

Police to step up patrols in Hamburg, Fayette Mall areas

Police will increase enforcement at two major Lexington retail sites through the holiday shopping season.

Beginning Black Friday, shoppers may notice a higher police presence at shopping centers in Hamburg and the Fayette Mall area during a time of year that typically sees an increase in fender benders and personal thefts, police said Tuesday. The goal is to prevent crime and to make traffic flow as smoothly as possible.

The city's Traffic Management Center will work with officers to monitor traffic cameras and change signal patterns when needed, Lt. Richard Willoby with the Division of Police's traffic section said.

Message boards alongside roads will alert motorists to congestion and remind them to drive safely, he said.

Motorists can also expect to see more patrol cars looking for inattentive drivers, seat-belt violations and cars blocking intersections.

"We will be taking enforcement actions if needed, but hopefully we're just trying to get the word out to encourage everybody to be as safe and as courteous as possible," Willoby said.

Police will also look for suspicious activity in parking lots, Officer Bige Towery said. Police will be stationed in a two-story observation platform in Fayette Mall's parking lot daily.

Towery warned shoppers not to keep items such as cell phones, change, GPS devices and gifts in the passenger compartments of their cars. Those should be locked in the trunk or left at home, he said.

Inside stores, Towery said, precaution is the best tool against potential thefts. Shoppers should zip their purses and safeguard credit cards and checkbooks, he said.

He also said shoppers should pay attention to their surroundings to avoid identify theft from "shoulder surfing," the act of stealing someone's personal information by using a cell phone to take photos or videos of checks or credit cards.

"Be careful from the time you get there to the time you leave," he said.