Retailers offer last-minute shopping deals, but beware

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) — It's the last shopping weekend before the Christmas holiday! Stores are expecting big turnouts of shoppers.

Since we had a shorter shopping time, they're really counting to bring in the dollars. Kohl's is opening up at 6 a.m. this morning and will be open for 100 hours straight to give shoppers all the time they need. Toys "R" Us will be open for 87 straight hours until Christmas. It may be hard, but local stores are trying to get your attention too. Conway has "Shop Local" billboards throughout the area to remind you that when you shop at home, your money will stay at home, and will help the local economy.

It's on big shopping weekends like the last one before Christmas when more crimes happen. The walk from the store to your car can be a long one, so it's important to get those gifts, put them in the trunk, and get home safely. Police say you never know who has their eye on you.

"Criminals are out there watching you," said Captain David Knipes with the Myrtle Beach Police Department. "Before they go and they pick a victim. They're going to watch they're going to see who's the best victim that they can get the easiest mark that they can get."

Police say it's never random, so it's up to you to make sure you don't become the easy victim. WMBF News talked with police, and they say there are some simple things shoppers need to do this weekend: make sure to shop in groups, because usually a criminal robs someone when there are no witnesses. Keep your keys and cell phone in pocket, not your purse, so you'll be able to make a call and a way to get home if your purse is stolen. This time of year it can be hard to snag a space in the parking lot, but park in a well-lit area whenever possible.

Knipes says the department will be redirecting patrols starting Friday, so shoppers will notice a stronger police presence in the busy shopping areas.

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