Police Give Online Shopping Safety Tips During Holidays

PRAIRIE GROVE (KFSM) -- The Prairie Grove Police Chief gave a few safety tips to online shoppers as they hunt for the best deals for the holiday season.

Chief Chris Workman said their department has a safety exchange zone outside of their building.

He explained this area has surveillance cameras watching any face to face transactions made.

No matter where you find the best deal, if you have to meet up like this to continue the deal, Workman said to follow these tips.

“Definitely do it in a public setting, a parking lot, a Harps, a Walmart, where there are folks gathered," Workman said. "If somebody is wanting to meet you at a place where you’re not familiar with or somewhere out in a rural area, that’s probably not a wise idea. We recommend against that obviously.”

Other police departments in Northwest Arkansas, like Springdale and Fayetteville, also have safety exchange zones for shoppers.

Workman said they have seen people utilize this area in the past and that everything went well for both parties.

Another issue he said Prairie Grove has seen in the past is package thieves.

Last year they saw a few instances of people running up to front porches and taking off with a gift.

Workman said even though these crimes happen during the day, it is tough to catch these people.

He said there is an easy solution though to make sure your online purchase isn't stolen before you get to it.

“Try to get those delivered to maybe a grandparent, parents, a house where there is somebody home," Workman said.

He explained it is easy and quick for someone to do something like this.

The key is to make sure someone you trust gets your package as soon as it is delivered.

Workman advised anyone to give police a call if you notice something strange in your neighborhood.