Security increased at malls, centers to ensure shoppers' safety

Police agencies patrol shopping hot spots as shoppers search for deals


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville sheriff officers are on the job at the St. Johns Town Center and St. Johns sheriff's deputies are providing extra security at the St. Augustine Outlet Malls.

Thousands of shoppers are joining crowds of thousands of people hitting various stores around Northeast Florida looking for bargains for holiday gift buying.

In addition to the extra security at stores this Black Friday, many shoppers have their own plan to stay safe.

"We stay together as a team and watch the bags as we shop," said shopper Morie Reed.

Reed shops with her daughters for Black Friday deals. She said their rule of thumb is to drop bags off at the car in between store visits, and make sure the bags are not exposed for a thief to see.

Black Friday is also busy for the St. Augustine outlets in St. Johns County. The Sheriff's Office put out a message on Facebook to alert drivers that traffic is moving slowly on I-95 south as drivers make their way to the popular shopping destination.

"I haven't had any discrepancies, or anything stopping me. I haven't been in harms way," said shopper David Haye.

One of the main attractions for people at the St. Johns Town Center has been the dozens of new stores added to its roster this year.

Another plus for shoppers at the St. Johns Town Center is a new shuttle that drives shoppers from store to store free of charge. All you need to do is call 904-610-9182 to set up your free ride.