Local News

Police Warn Women Not to Shop Alone

Posted December 6, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Three times this week, criminals have preyed on women in Fayetteville shopping areas. The cases appear to be unrelated, but police say they should serve as a warning.

The Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville goes the extra mile to help make the holiday 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 the Fayetteville Police Department. "Not everybody out there is going shopping. Some want to go shopping, but they don't want to pay for their purchases."

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

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

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

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

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