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Troy police share tips to stay safe while you shop

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published December 11, 2019

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TROY — Troy resident Suzanne Huyser said she wanted to run what she thought would be a quick errand to a retail store in Troy during a break from work.

Huyser said she was distracted when a woman nearby in the store dropped something, and Huyser watched to see if the woman needed help.

That’s when Huyser believes the thief struck, taking her wallet out of her purse.

“It was well orchestrated,” Huyser said.

According to the police report, the thief attempted to make fraudulent purchases with credit cards in the stolen wallet — over $5,000 at the Apple Store and $314 at the Macy’s store at Somerset Collection, which were denied. 

“It was the same time at different stores,” Huyser said.

Troy Police Department Sgt. Meghan Lehman shared these tips for safe shopping:

• Keep your purse and keys close. Thieves are often skilled at quickly snatching wallets and keys out of purses that are not closely attended. A crossbody purse, or other type of handbag worn on the body, is preferable. Purses left in carts or those that drape open while being carried are not advised.

• Conceal packages in cars, preferably in the trunk. Lock car doors.

• Track your packages prior to arrival when shopping online. Remove packages from porches as quickly as possible. Report stolen packages to police.

• Keep your phone in a pocket or purse. Phones are frequently left behind at cash registers and other locations in stores, and then are stolen.

• Park in well-lit areas and remember your parking location. If you have safety concerns, ask for a security escort to your car.

• Do not engage with parking lot arguments over parking spaces. At this time of year, police see fights over parking spaces that can escalate from verbal to physical.

• Do not display large amounts of cash. If shopping with cash, police recommend carrying it in smaller quantities or otherwise not displaying a large amount at once.

• If shopping with children in crowded shopping areas, prearrange a meeting point should you become separated. Talk to your kids about who to ask for help in the event of separation.

• Young children are perhaps most in danger in parking lots, where they could be hit by a car. Instruct kids to stay close to you or in a cart. Children can be instructed to hold on to the cart at all times when walking in a lot.