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Porter Ranch Walmart to Increase Security 59% on Thanksgiving Night

Deep-discount Black Friday sales are beginning on Turkey Thursday.

There will be 27 additional security guards, four of them armed, when the holiday shopping surge begins at the Porter Ranch Walmart on Thanksgiving night.

Before the turkey leftovers even cool, the shopping will begin.

Two of the shopping center's major retailers — Walmart and Toys "R" Us — are starting their Black Friday specials Thursday.

Walmart will kick off its in-store specials at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving — two hours before last year.

Toys "R" Us is opening at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving — an hour earlier than last year.

Elsewhere, Target announced Monday it will open at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving — a full three hours earlier than last year's 12:01 a.m. Black Friday start.

Walmart manager Fernando Reyes said Tuesday that the company was taking action following the melee that erupted last year when a customer fired off pepper spray in the crush to grab a deep-discount Xbox game console.

"What we've done here at Porter Ranch, in addition to the queue lines that the company said we must abide by, we've designated additional queue lines," Reyes told the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council. "We don't want anything like what happened last year to repeat itself. So we are taking extra precautions to make sure we are safe."

He said the store has contingency plans with a 59 percent increase in unarmed and armed security, warning banners, barricades and limits on the number of customers permitted in the store at any one time. Roadways and entrances will be cleared to allow emergency personnel immediate access if they are needed, he said.

"We're going to have unobstructed access to the rear of the store," for police if there is an emergency, he said. "Secondly, we've set up a safety zone with bike-barricades, and those bike-barricades are removable so if at any point the fire department needs to come in, it will be very easy to get them in."

In addition, throughout the shopping season, the LAPD will be beefing-up parking lot patrols at the Porter Ranch Town Center, as well as the Northridge Fashion Center. Urging residents to keep their purchases out of sight, LAPD Senior Lead Officer Daniel del Valle warned, "Lock it. Hide it. Keep it."

There will be officers on bikes, a mounted horse patrol, additional surveillance, and even regular fly-byes by police helicopters, he said.

Click on the store names below to preview Black Friday advertisements, courtesy bfads.net :

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Joseph November 14, 2012 at 04:00 PM
It's not even fun anymore. I hate the fact that stores are opening on Thursday now.
Charles Murray November 14, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Christmas has been commercialized to death, and I have fallen into the group of people who view it like an upcoming root canal appointment. That's sad. What's even more sad, is that society has coerced itself into spending into debt with wild abandon, to buy Christmas gifts in such a huge quantity for children, who are becoming spoiled and entitled thereby. I remember being thrilled when Santa brought me two or three $7.00 toys, and maybe a sack of chocolate coins and other <$1.00 items in the stocking. No, I'm not a child of 1910 recalling ancient memories; I was born in 1967. Now, it seems that young, hard-working couples will spend $1,000 or more on fancy gadgets for a toddler, which in my opinion sets a dreadful example of entitlement. Wow, I wonder if this "custom" had anything to do with young couples buying houses with 125% mortgages with a "worry about it later" balloon payment, and having credit cards with limits several times their annual income?
Joseph November 14, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I agree Charles. I never really went "Black Friday" shopping for Christmas gifts but rather for myself. Call it selfish but I work hard year round and if I feel that I can get myself something nice at a fair price then why not. Gifts I buy for others are more meaningful then and Ipad for a 4 year old.

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