LAPD to Patrol Stores to Keep Black Friday Safe

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA) — Black Friday deals have crept up so early that you might need to head out the door right after dessert!

This year, a variety of retail stores are opening their doors earlier than ever before — some as early as Thanksgiving.

Big crowds are expected to take advantage of the rock-bottom deals, but Los Angeles police are warning that people could go to jail if they get out of hand.

Authorities don’t want a repeat of what happened last year, when a woman caught in the crush of shoppers went into a Walmart in Porter Ranch and pepper sprayed shoppers.

LAPD officials say the department will use all resources available to make sure shoppers can take advantage of the great deals without putting anyone in danger.

Helicopters will fly above some shopping centers, and on the ground, LAPD officers will patrol on bikes and horses.

From store rooftops, officers will scan the crowds below looking for unruly behavior.

Electronic signs near stores will warn customers about becoming victims of theft as they navigate the crowds looking for bargains.

Some hard-core deal hunters have been camped outside stores for days, hoping to be among the first inside the doors.

At a Best Buy in El Segundo, the tents and folding chairs went up as early as last weekend.

“The party begins with the tents, the canopies, blow-up mattresses,” one camper said. “Every year we meet more people and our group gets bigger and bigger.”

A similar scene played out at other Best Buy locations, including the stores in Porter Ranch and Atwater Village.

Kmart opens its doors at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving, followed by Big Lots and 7 a.m. and Walgreens at 9 a.m.

Sears, Toys R Us and Walmart all kick off their Black Friday sales at 8 p.m. on Thursday, and Target opens up at 9 p.m.

Best Buy, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Old Navy open at midnight.

On Friday, Big 5, Home Depot and Lowe’s start their sales at 5 a.m. Bed Bath & Beyond, J.C. Penney and Radio Shack open up at 6 a.m.

Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom Rack open at 7 a.m., and Dillard’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom kick things off at 8 a.m.

The Citadel Outlets open at 9 p.m. Thursday, and the Camarillo Premium Outlets open at midnight, with some stores starting at 9 p.m.

The Outlets at Orange will be open starting at midnight.

The Westfield Culver City mall common areas open at 10 p.m. Thursday, with nearly all stores open at midnight.

Westfield Santa Ana and Westfield Topanga open at midnight, as does the Irvine Spectrum. The Grove is open starting at 8 a.m. Friday.

For complete Black Friday information and deals, visit: <a href=”; target=”link”></a&gt;.

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