Out Black Friday shopping? Here's some safety tips you should know

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Black Friday shoppers hit stores looking for deals, Tracy Clemons reports. (KTRK)

The 2016 holiday shopping season got off to a busy start Thursday.

"There was a little BB8 Robot that my little guy would really love," says Diane Hines. "And then we were in line and didn't even realize that tablets were on sale so we were like oh cool, we'll get some tablets too."

Diane Hines and her husband Jerry were some of the first shoppers through the doors at the Toys 'R Us near NRG. They planned a whole shopping tour for the evening.

"I know we're crazy. But I just gotta get some little things. I don't think people are gonna fight over Tupperware," she said.

At Target on Main Street, a $250 4K television and Beats by Dre headphones were at the top of the list for most of the shoppers that waited for the doors to open.

Bianca Lee was one of the first to check out with a brand new iPad.

"I had my niece in line for me while I went to another store," she said. "So she got in line and I just jumped in to pay. You know you gotta have your hookups."


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Former officer talks about Black Friday security safety, Kaitlin McCulley reports.

While Black Friday shopping can be fun for some people, fighting and screaming is not everyone's idea of a happy Thanksgiving.

You may remember seeing a video from Philadelphia showing a girl using a stun gun on another customer after they were kicked out of a store on Black Friday.
In 2014, a fight broke out at a Wal-Mart in Stafford. The brawl began because of a short supply of flat screen televisions.

Retired Houston Police officer Mark Stephens does not envy officers tasked with managing the craziness.

"It's a nightmare, yeah," Stephens said. "I've fought with murder suspects, rapists and burglars. I've fought a guy who pulled a knife and a gun. And on my best day, I would never even remotely consider volunteering to work Black Friday."

RELATED: Top tips for getting the best Black Friday deals

Stephens said good sales make people behave poorly.
"The Black Friday sales just makes people stupid," Stephens said. "They lose their minds. It's like a group of wild animals fighting over the last water holes on the plains of the Serengeti."

He says shoppers committed to showing up on Black Friday should get in and out quickly.

He has this advice for officers: "Wait for backup, don't go in alone," Stephens said. "Do what you have to do but stay safe."

RELATED: Things you can do instead of shop on Black Friday

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