- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown
Emergency: Dial 9-1-1
Because we live in a county like Bedford, we may not think twice about walking on Bridge Street, Bridgewater Plaza or Graves Mill to do a little shopping after dark. Please do not grow complacent! With the downturn of the economy doubled with the holiday shopping season, you can be sure there will be plenty of ‘Scrooges” out there trying to take advantage of anyone they feel they can!
Whether here in town or when headed to the larger shopping centers, be aware of your surroundings. If you have to park far from the entrance, be sure it is a well lit area, keeping in mind that it may be daylight when you go in. But will it be dark when you leave? When you do park, scan the area for anyone suspicious that may be lurking about. Follow your instincts, and move along to another area if you see anything suspicious.
When returning to your car, be sure to have your keys ready in hand so you’re not fumbling in the dark. Again, check the surroundings around the lot and scan the area near your car. If alone and unsure, ask the store or mall security to walk you to your vehicle.
Always check the back seat of your car before getting in! If you see anything suspicious, return to the store immediately.
When stowing your purchases, place them in the trunk or somewhere out of sight. Seeing a bunch of shopping bags in your vehicle is an open invitation for a Scrooge to break into your car. If you are shopping with children in tow, please be extra vigilant. Never use a video arcade or toy store as a baby sitter. Predators are constantly on the prowl for unattended children.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, NCMEC, more than 100,000 children are abducted every year and often it happens in malls and department stores. When walking in crowded stores and malls, be aware of who is next to you and behind you. Ladies should carry their handbags close to their bodies and never leave your handbag unattended the seat of a shopping cart. Men, carry your wallets in your front pocket if going through a crowd.
“Hardening the target” is a phrase used in law enforcement. Don’t be a victim. Be a smart shopper! Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas!