The Wichita Police Department (WPD) is warning shoppers to guard their personal belongings due to a recent increase in thefts from shopping carts. The incidents have taken place across the city and surrounding areas. Thieves are targeting purses, wallets and electronic devices including tablets. The thefts are taking place when shoppers walk away from their shopping carts to look at items in store aisles and as they are loading items into their vehicles.
WPD offers the following tips:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Put your purse on your shoulder if you need to walk away from your cart
- If you use a tablet for your grocery list, take it with you when you grab items off the shelves
- Put your purse in your vehicle first - before you load your groceries
“As the holiday shopping season kicks off this week with Black Friday, we’re encouraging shoppers to take these simple precautions to protect their belongings.” Wichita Police Lieutenant Doug Nolte said.
If you see suspicious activity or someone stealing items from a shopping cart – get a good description and don’t put yourself in any danger. Instead call 911 immediately.
WPD has also created a public service announcement to increase awareness about this crime trend. The video portrays various situations that shoppers find themselves in where a thief could target them.