Black Friday shoppers look for good deals, crooks look for what to steal

Published On: Nov 23 2011 05:53:31 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 23 2011 06:10:43 PM CST

Shoppers will be out on Black Friday to get good deals, but they'll also be a potential target for criminals looking to score.

Many malls and stores said they have added security to keep their shoppers safe, especially at night.

"Multiple trips in and out of the mall is a bad idea," Harris County sheriff's Deputy Sandy Johnson said. "Thieves are watching for people to stow away their packages."

She said that shoppers looking for midnight bargains need to be very careful about where they park.

"A lot of people think, 'I'll park away and get some exercise,'" she said. "Late at night is not the time to do that. Park close and in well-lit areas. If instinct tells you something is wrong, follow your instinct and move on and find someone to escort you."

The Houston Police Department reminded shoppers to check inside and under their car, have their keys ready, not to carry much cash and keep their wallet in their front pocket or purse under their arm.

"Don't think that you're being paranoid," Johnson said. "You just can't be too safe."