Police remind you to shop safely this season - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Police remind you to shop safely this season


METAIRIE, La. - Viola Russell spent a cold and sleepless night outside Target, hoping to be the first shopper through the doors on Thanksgiving.

"I made sure I watched everybody that passed, even if they were driving by slow," she says. "But the police were really nice. They kept checking on me and the guy said one of the reasons he didn't want me to move out of this spot is because I was directly in line with the camera."

Police will be out in force this holiday season, watching for crimes of opportunity.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas says theft is one of the biggest problems this time of year. That's why his officers will be on the streets and visible.

"The high visibility officers vests give a clear signal to anybody who's walking down the street, maybe want to grab something out of a store front, that there could be a police officer half a block away from them," he says.

Police are working to solve a rash of crimes of opportunity in Algiers, a string of carjackings.

Darren Lombard says three men stole his Chevy Trailblazer at gunpoint.

"I thought to myself, is this really happening, this can't be happening," he says. "Then I said, well I better listen because I don't know what this guy is going to do so we basically followed his orders to the T."

Investigators say that carjacking is related to at least two others in Algiers, the most recent happening Wednesday night on Post Oak Drive.

Detectives hope surveillance video will help them catch three men who carjacked someone two weeks ago on Copernicus street.

Police say one of the easiest ways to stay safe this season is to remember the basics. Pay attention as you're walking to your car and don't leave any valuables out in plain sight.

Russell's family told her she was crazy to spend the night alone in the cold. But company joined her in the early morning hours.

"To me, it's all about making friends," says Russell. "There's enough enemies doing around but it's about making friends and trying to keep the spirit up for the holidays and there's enough bad things going on."

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