Major SWFL shopping plazas beef up security before Black Friday

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Deputies have set up security watch towers at Gulf Coast Town Center and Miromar Outlets to keep shoppers safe during Black Friday.

As of right now, Bell Tower Shops, the site of a deadly shooting last month, still does not have a security watch tower. But Lee County Sheriff’s Office says there will be one before the shopping frenzy gets underway.

Shoppers and store employees say the extra security is needed during Black Friday.

“People do get angry with the lines, and stealing,” said Polo Ralph Lauren employee Cece Baricelli. “Tons and tons of stealing.”

As stores are preparing for the big crowds, shoppers like Sandy Stellar is getting ready to stay away because of all the Black Friday shopping horror stories she’s heard.

“Yeah, where people want a certain item and they’re all kind of crazy, so I avoid it all together,” Stellar said.

While some shoppers are already camping out for the best deals, law enforcement is close behind watching from a security tower.

LCSO is planning on staging a watch tower at the major shopping plazas so they can keep a close eye on all the mayhem.

To keep yourself safe during Black Friday shopping, experts say use credit cards and save your receipts, park your car in a well lit area and keep your purse or wallet close to your body.

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