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Dec 1, 2012 12:16 AM by Nathan O'Neal

Local mall security preps for holiday shopping frenzy

TUCSON - As the holiday shopping season ramps up so does your potential to become a target, forcing malls across Southern Arizona to beef up security.

With the holiday season taking over the Foothills Mall, Shelly Buxton hits the sales wrack--that's with plenty of shopping still to complete for her Christmas list.

"That's why I want to go and get it done early so we don't have to come to the mall when it's crazy," Buxton said as she perused through the shops.

While shoppers like Buxton begin to flood malls around Southern Arizona, they can expect beefed up security.

"Of course we're always watching, we have cameras here inside and outside so we're always watching the parking lot, watching the shoppers inside," said Sergio Alcarez, Security Supervisor at the Foothills Mall.

Alcarez said the mall also has deputies on patrol in the mornings and afternoons.

"They're always here to help us out and watch people," Alcarez told News 4 Tucson.

Even with flocks of folks in the holiday spirit, security teams remind shoppers to remain vigilant.

"A lot of times shoplifters or thieves will pick up the bags with the receipt inside and just go back the next day and return the merchandise," Alcarez said.

Your best bet is to keep your purchases with you at all times, out of view, and make sure nobody is watching you put your merchandise in your car.

Alcarez said the key is to remain aware of your surroundings and that is exactly what Shelley Buxton does on her shopping ventures.

"I carry it with us and we always go shopping together and we always park under a light," Buxton said.

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