In-person shopping returns during Black Friday

Black Friday line at Micronesia Mall. Many of the stores inside the mall opened earlier than usual to accommodate holiday shoppers. PNC photo by Don Sulat.

Today is Black Friday, the official start of the holiday shopping season and the Guam Police Department would like to remind the community of safety tips and crime prevention measures.

Although the island’s retail sector has not yet fully recovered from COVID-19, there are a number of establishments that are open and offering Black Friday discounts, including Macy’s which opened at 6 am. Most of the stores inside the malls also opened earlier than their usual opening schedule.

In Tamuning, the Guam Premier Outlets was busy as well and shoppers were having a hard time finding parking slot.

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Even Tumon, not traditionally a Black Friday destination, was filled with shoppers as people tried to avail of the promos and discounts offered by T Galleria By DFS Guam. There were also shoppers at JP Superstore.

Home Depot, Kmart, and the Compadres Mall were also busy.

If you do decide to go out and shop, GPD recommends that you secure your house doors and windows, set your alarm, if you have one, when leaving for an extended period (short vacation or staycation) enlist the assistance of your neighbors or family members to retrieve your mail and newspapers, and utilize indoor lights with a timer using dusk to dawn timing.

Consider leaving a radio or television on. Some sounds may deter any criminals from your
home. Keep the exterior portion of your residence clear and free of any items that would allow a window of opportunity for criminals to steal your belongings.

Avoid having large packages sit in front of your residence for long periods of time when they are being delivered. Consider scheduling a time when a family member would be home to receive the packages.

According to GPD, the majority of thefts from motor vehicles are from unlocked vehicles so reemember to park smart, lock your vehicle, take your keys, and remove your valuables.

Keep all personal items stowed in the trunk or in a locked compartment, out of sight.
Park in well-lit areas where your car can be visible, choose your parking spot carefully.
Dress casually and comfortably avoid wearing or displaying expensive jewelry, maintain clear visibility of your surroundings not compromising your freedom of movement.

Do not carry large amounts of cash and if you choose to do so, try to be modest with the
amount of cash you may have on hand. You may want to consider using debit or credit cards and notify your financial institution immediately if you notice your bank card lost or stolen.

If you need to withdraw money from an ATM for your holiday shopping, consider making your trip to the ATM during the daylight hours and not late at night, and if you choose to or have no other options consider a buddy system or consider getting cash back with your purchase to avoid using the ATM at night.

Regarding young children, have a child separation plan in place in the event you get separated during your shopping experience.

Online / Social Media Platforms

Of course, online shopping continues to be popular because of COVID-19 and online shopping actually offers more choices and more discounts.

But although it is convenient and has become a trend to shop online, it could also be dangerous to shop online as thieves are finding new ways to steal your financial and personal information.

Limit the number of places you give your credit card details. Purchase from a reputable seller or known company. Look for the https and padlock on your site to ensure that your information is better protected.

Be mindful and avoid posting items that you may have received, purchased, or have been
gifted on social media platforms. Consider printing or saving your purchase transaction for paper trail and accountability in the event you would need to dispute anything later.

When purchasing from social media platforms and when meeting to pick up your item from the seller consider using the Guam Police Department’s “SAFE EXCHANGE” areas located at the central precinct. If that’s not an available option, choose a well-lit place, conduct your meet times during the day and avoid making exchanges at night or in confined areas.

The Guam Police Department will be exhausting all efforts during the holiday season to aid in the safety of the community.

GPD’s Specialized Divisions (Criminal Investigation Section|Juvenile Investigation Section|Special Operations Division) will be working collaboratively with patrol officers in
providing ample coverage and assistance to the community in increasing police presence,
visibility and quick response.

These efforts combined with your individual diligence to consider and follow safety tips
will help everyone feel secure and keep residents safe as the community welcomes the holidays around the corner.

For police assistance contact the Guam Police Department dispatch center at 671-475-8615
thru 7 or 911 for emergency calls.