TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Many stores have crossed the Black Friday line and will be open the night of Thanksgiving to try to entice more shoppers.
But officers said that means bargain hunters need to be especially watchful for criminals who will also be looking for a bargain.
As people stock up on the Christmas gifts and holiday cheer, merchants prepare for the mad rush on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
"We'll be real busy from the time we get here until the time we leave. We are not going to leave until everybody gets waited on," said John Rush, Reed's Department Store.
But Captain Rusty Haynes with the Tupelo Police Department said shoppers could be unsuspecting victims. Criminals will be mixed in with thousands of bargain hunters and are looking to pick up gifts at your expense.
"Don't get so caught up in the holiday season and shopping that you don't pay attention to your surroundings," said Haynes. "There are people in this world who are looking to make an easy dollar, and if you don't pay attention, it may make you a victim."
Haynes recommended putting all packages in the trunk of your car and not in the back seat in plain view. He also said crooks will be looking for women who leave their purses unattended.
"They are very easy targets that are a lot of times left unattended, supposedly for a brief period of time, but that's all it takes to come up missing," Haynes said.
Haynes also said pack a lot of patience with long lines and plenty of traffic expected.