Operation Safe Shopper returns to Harker Heights

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The Harker Heights Police Department has announced their tenth annual Operation Safe Shopper.

The department will be providing extra police to cover the major shopping areas in Harker Heights beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.

Police will be utilizing vehicles such as motorcycles, mule ATV’s and bicycles, and will also patrol on foot. During peak shopping hours, the Command Van will be set up as a mobile police station in the Market Heights parking lot.

Primary areas for police coverage will be in the Market Heights shopping center, as well as Walmart and Sam’s Club. Roving patrols will also be moving through other Harker Heights shopping areas.

The department would also like to share some tips to ensure a safe and happy shopping experience:

Before shopping:

– Make plans to shop with a friend during day light hours.

– Try to shop during less crowded times.

– Record your credit card numbers and who to call in case they are lost or stolen.

– Avoid wearing expensive jewelry if possible. Save it for your family gathering.

– Don’t carry a purse or wallet if possible.

– Dress casually and comfortably. Reducing stress during shopping can increase your awareness and safety.

When parking:

– Park in well-lit areas and as close to the establishment as possible.

– Keep all valuables, including items you just purchased, out of sight, use your trunk if possible.

– Lock the doors and windows of your vehicle.

– Remember and Make note of where you parked your vehicle.

– Walk with a friend or relative or with large friendly groups. Ask for a security escort to your car if you feel unsafe or it is a late hour.

While shopping:

– Be aware of your surroundings.

– Always carry a cell phone and have local emergency numbers available.

– Avoid carrying or displaying large amounts of cash. Keep cash or wallets in your front pocket.

– Use credit cards whenever possible or take only the amount of money you’re going to spend.

– Keep your credit account information and phone numbers in a safe place and immediately report any lost, stolen or misused cards.

– Carry your purse with you; don’t leave it in the shopping cart.

– Carry packages close to your body and avoid carrying too many items.

– Avoid carrying large or bulky items. Ask for help from a trusted source.

– Make sure you keep an eye on your credit card when it is being processed and make sure you get it back after the transaction.

– Always keep an eye on your children, or if possible, leave them at home with a responsible adult. If you must bring them, have another adult with you who can watch them while you are conducting a transaction.

– Teach children to stay by you and what to do if they lose sight of you.

– Be prepared to provide complete information about your children to law enforcement in the event of an emergency.

– If you think you’re being followed or watched, go to a populated area; look for a security officer, or call police.

– If you observe illegal activities call the police and report the incident.

When leaving:

– Wait for public transportation in a well-lit, well-traveled area.

– Have your keys in your hands, ready to unlock your vehicle.

– Check the inside of your car and make sure that no one is inside.

– If you think that you are being followed, drive to a populated area or to a police station.

When getting money:

– Be extra alert while using an ATM machine during the holidays.

– Use them during daylight hours if possible. If not, pick a well-lighted and populated area.

– Use machines in populated areas at all times.

– Have a friend or family member with you.

– Protect your personal identification number (PIN).

– Make sure it does not appear that the ATM machine has been tampered with.

– Be aware of your surroundings and look around for anyone acting suspiciously at or near the machine before you use it.

– Never help others at the ATM machine.

– Be prepared to make your transaction. Do not stand at the machine figuring out deposits.

– Use a trusted machine and check for card insert areas that look strange or altered before entering your card.

For parties and social gatherings:

– Plan carefully and well in advance.

– Celebrate responsibly.

– If you drink alcoholic beverages, always have a designated driver or make arrangements to stay where you are at.

Useful phone numbers:

– Emergency: 911

– Police non-emergency: 254-953-5400

– Chief of Police Chief Gadd and Patrol Commander Hawkins can be contacted at (254) 953-5400.

The department also wants to wish everyone in the Central Texas community a safe and happy holiday season!

Source: Harker Heights Police Department

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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