SACRAMENTO, CA - Security officials at Arden Fair have stepped up patrols to help keep shoppers safe during the holiday season.
Nearly 100,000 shoppers are expected to visit Sacramento's largest mall on Black Friday. Stores will open at midnight Thanksgiving Day, with crowds lining up hours ahead of time for extra savings and door-buster deals.
Macerich, the company which manages Arden Fair, has invested nearly $2 mil. in security upgrades at the property in recent years.
"We've got a state of the art camera system, and we've got 167 cameras," says Steve Reed, Arden Fair security manager. "We're going to be adding 17 more (184 high-def cameras total), they capture everything on the property."
Reed says the cameras produce high-resolution digital video, which allows security officers to clearly make out everything from tattoos to license plates.
News10 spoke with shoppers who say they appreciate the boost in technology, and now feel safe knowing the majority of the property is covered by cameras.
"Be aware of your surroundings, and watch where you're going, know who's behind you, and stay organized," said Rahji Purewal, Sacramento shopper. "Go into the mall with a list of things you're going to buy, and purchase those things, and just be in and out."
Many mall employees encourage shoppers to come out in pairs or groups to avoid being put in an unsafe circumstance all alone.
"Some people may follow you in from the car, you know, or into the store and follow your patterns," says Austin Shaffer, who works in an Arden Fair retail store. "If you're by yourself, you just leave yourself more vulnerable for something to happen."
Arden Fair security officials work closely with Sacramento Police to ensure the safety of all shoppers. Extra police presence will be on hand for Black Friday.