Black Friday Preparations: Safety, Shop Lifting, Security - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Black Friday Preparations: Safety, Shop Lifting, Security

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MARION COUNTY -

Black Friday is the one day of the year where you justify staying up all night and spending tons of money.

It may the busiest night of the year for stores all over the country, but there is more to being prepared than just holding onto those sales fliers.

Every year on Thanksgiving Day, the countdown to midnight begins. Thousands of people gather outside of stores, such as Walmart or Target, to begin their holiday shopping.

Some people believe Black Friday isn't even worth the hassle.

"I stood in line for these sets of sheets that were like three or four dollars. I finally got the sheets but as I turned around this bigger woman, probably three times bigger than me, turned around and punched me in the face. She wanted my sheets," said Nikki Shelley, Fairmont resident.

All it took was just one incident to make Shelley decide she would never go Black Friday shopping again.

"I was pretty upset about especially because the Walmart staff was in-between the two different sections and they didn't do anything about it. They never said anything to that woman. Nothing ever happened," Shelley said.

Incidents like those force law enforcement agencies to put extra patrol out on Black Friday.

"It's chaotic because there is a lot of people that show up, especially to Walmart. We encourage everybody to keep in mind that everybody is there for the same purpose. Everybody is there to enjoy what Black Friday is about," said Donald Efaw, White Hall Police.

White Hall Police said they are called to Walmart every day for a variety of reasons.

"We get called to Walmart for shop lifters probably two or three times a day. So, you know, I'd say at least seven or eight times in a week," Efaw said.

People steal televisions, bikes, clothing, and more. Officers said it only gets worse in the holiday season.

"It's getting to that time of year again when people are getting desperate. Money is tight. The economy isn't very good right now so people tend to shoplift more this time of year," Efaw said.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Police said people will steal purchases out of vehicles and even take purses out of shopping carts.

"Make sure you're aware of your surroundings," Efaw said. "Keep your purse and everything in close sight so that doesn't happen and we can avoid things like that especially when Black Friday comes."

So when it comes down to it, is the Black Friday rush really worth it? Shelley said no.

"Why going through all those people and the mess and fighting when you can just go shopping earlier on in the year or online?" Shelley said.

We'll continue to take a look at the positives and negatives of Black Friday over the next couple of weeks.