Holiday shoppers seeking deals may also notice something else at San Diego area stores this season: deputies, keeping a watchful eye on shoppers to ensure public safety.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) launched its “Holiday Watch Operations” throughout the county on Black Friday, increasing patrols in an effort to prevent crime during the busy holiday shopping season, including car break-ins and shoplifting.
At a Walmart on Community Road in Poway, deputies set up a watch tower to keep an eye over the area. From now through December, deputies and SDSO senior volunteers will conduct additional patrols in busy shopping areas in Poway, Santee, Imperial Beach, Bonita, Lemon Grove and Vista.
SDSO Deputy Jessica Boegler said shoppers should take precautions to protect themselves and their belongings – especially on days like Black Friday.
“Lock their car; don’t leave your purses and high-value items in plain sight. If you go shopping and get some gifts and you leave them in your car, make sure you hide them, at least, in your trunk and make sure everything’s locked and secured to prevent, you know, anyone from getting into your car,” Boegler explained.
The SDSO is also offering its safety check program to locals traveling this season. Senior Volunteer Patrol members will watch your home while you’re away, performing security inspections such as checking for broken windows, open doors, garages or other red flags, and calling deputies if they discover something amiss. They will even hide your newspapers or packages, so it doesn’t look like you’re not home.
The home safety program is available Monday through Friday; filling out this form is required. Call the SDSO for information at (858) 974-2084.