Ways to stay safe if you think you’re being followed while shopping

Police says there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family. Sure, it's an uneasy feeling but help can get to you quickly...

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MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – You’ve probably seen the posts on Facebook where a person claimed they were followed while shopping in a store.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on how people should react in that situation.

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Police said there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family.

Sure, it’s an uneasy feeling but help can get to you quickly.

Going to the grocery store and looking for new clothes can be pretty routine chores, until an unnerving feeling sets in.

Its happened before where people feel like they are being followed while shopping.

Amory Police Department Lieutenant Andy Long said there are immediate steps you can take to stay safe.

“The biggest things is to change your direction and what you’re doing and get to somewhere public. As soon as you can get to that place public or even before then start your process of notifying the authorities, ” said Long.

The quicker you call, the more likely officers can talk to the suspicious person.

“Time is crucial, because as soon as you report it and as soon people start investigating it , the more likely you are to catch up with that person to find out what was your intent. An hour later, it’s harder to pick up that trail to confirm to find out the truth to what’s going on or miss a misunderstanding or whatever it might be, ” said Long.

Robin’s Unique Boutique has security measures in place and staff have a strict protocol to follow.

“We have someone always monitoring the floors and we try to interact with the customers trying to be that 1-1 with them if they feel safe or if they don’t feel safe,” said Sales Associate Jamie Bailey.

Bailey said if there is suspicious activity in the store, employees make sure to get as much information as possible before calling the police.

“We’ll try to send somebody out behind them and make sure they get in their vehicle safe and leave the parking safe. Then we would contact the local law enforcement,” said Bailey.

Long encourages people to call 911 for police to investigate because social media can’t resolve the situation.

“Going to social media as the first is not the best and is not going to solve any issue. I know you might think I’m trying to get protection or I’m trying to keep the people safe, I promise you that’s our goal as well, ‘” said Long.

Long said day and night play no factor in these cases. He said to always be aware of your surroundings.

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