Crime

Lexington police describe strategy, offer tips for avoiding theft on Black Friday

Police warn that they see increased numbers of car accidents on Black Friday. Message boards such as this one are designed to caution drivers.
Police warn that they see increased numbers of car accidents on Black Friday. Message boards such as this one are designed to caution drivers.

Shoppers at two of Lexington's busiest retail centers might see Lexington police's Sky Watch Tower as officers hope to increase surveillance and cut down on thefts on Black Friday.

The mobile tower, which rises two stories in the air, will give officers a 360-degree view of parking lots in Hamburg and in the Fayette Mall area. It will be set up at whichever location it is needed, and it might be moved from one area to the other over the course of the day, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.

Roberts and Officer Bige Towery spoke with reporters during a news conference Friday regarding Black Friday, a day when police typically see more car crashes than usual and people are at a higher risk for theft.

Message boards alongside roads will alert motorists to congestion and remind them to drive safely, Roberts said. People involved in minor, non-injury collisions should move their cars out of the road to let other cars pass, Roberts said.

Police also spoke about a form of identity theft called "shoulder surfing" — stealing someone's personal information by using a cell phone to take photos or videos of checks or credit cards. Shoppers should be aware of their surroundings and keep those items in a zipped purse when they aren't using them, Roberts said.

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