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Police Warn Women Not to Shop Alone

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Getting in and out of your car seems harmless enough, but you can never be too careful.
FAYETTEVILLE — Three times this week, criminals have preyed on women in Fayetteville shoppingareas. The cases appear to be unrelated, but police say they should serveas a warning.

The Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville goes the extra mile to help make theholiday safe. Security seems to be everywhere this time of year. But, shoppers also have to do their share.

"The big thing is to be alert," explains Kathleen Ruppert of theFayetteville Police Department. "Not everybody out there is goingshopping. Some want to go shopping, but they don't want to pay for theirpurchases."

A safe shopping trip starts with where you park. Ruppert advises peopleto park in an area that is well lit. She also recommends finding aparking spot away from people who appear to be "hanging around." Makesure your cars is locked and that nothing is visible in the passengercompartment.

When you're done shopping, that doesn't mean it's time to bag safety. Ifyou see someone hanging around your car, turn around and go back into thestore. Have your keys ready when you are set to enter your vehicle.

It sounds pretty simple, but are people heeding the advice? Nakaura Davisisn't. She admits she doesn't take precautions. Shopper Daniel Mickleytries to park close to the building and near lightposts.

As we get further into the holiday season, things tend to get more hecticand it's easy for shoppers to forget about safety. That's exactly whatsome criminals are counting on.

One other bit of advice from police: While out shopping, if you're goingto use a restroom, either go in with someone or have someone wait outsidethe door.

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