Police beef up patrol during Black Friday shopping

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. - Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but it can also be one of the most dangerous; that's why Midwest City police and other departments across the country want to make sure this holiday tradition goes on as planned.

Lieutenant Ron Strecker is doing his rounds around the Towne Center Plaza to make sure shoppers like Jim Elledge are having a good Black Friday shopping experience.

“We were looking for a TV and an Instapot and clothing, shoes, watches, that sort of thing and we've scored pretty good,” said Elledge.

Black Friday use to be an event Elledge would shy away from, now he said it's a family tradition, “It's been kind of fun and saving money is fun too.”

However, the fun days can turn bad, police say, when you have crowds of people gathered in one spot.
That is why on this busy shopping day, shoppers will notice a larger police presence.

“At any given time, there are four to five police cars and off duty police officers assigned only to parking lots and businesses for shopping safety,” said Strecker

There are also plenty of officers inside as well.

“Our officers that are up here, we walk around inside the stores we talk to management, they know we`re up here, they know we`re up here for them,” Strecker told News 4.

Officers also have a way to catch thieves right in the act.

“We actually got bait cars out here with expensive items in them and we know where they're at. We try to lure bad people if you will, to look at that then we catch them in the act,” said Strecker.

And because thieves might be targeting shoppers for their merchandise Elledge said he has to be several steps ahead to protect himself.

“We try to be smart where we park, park up close to where we're going to shop and we put everything in the trunk,” Elledge said.

Midwest City police said Friday was a mild day, but officers did say they caught a few shoplifters.

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