SIOUX CITY | Siouxlanders moved in large numbers to kick off the holiday shopping season on Thursday and Friday, and law enforcement authorities monitored the activities.

The police officials didn't want crime to seep into the shopping tasks.

The Storm Lake Police Department has been going by businesses to keep tabs on the shopping. The department in a Facebook post on Thursday shared, "The SLPD is increasing patrols tonight and assisting shoppers and motorists at the Wal-Mart Store as large crowds arrive to begin their holiday shopping. Be safe this Christmas Season and shop local early and often."

Elsewhere, the South Sioux City Police Department asked businesses to be on the lookout for counterfeit bills on Black Friday.

The department in a Friday post said, "Employees accepting the money should pay attention to the texture of the bills, the way they are cut and look, and the watermark used by the U.S. Treasury. It is important that businesses properly train all employees who handle money from the public how to detect counterfeit money and what to do when they suspect a phony bill has been passed."

In the last few years, retailers have changed from having no shopping on the Thanksgiving holiday to becoming open that day. Big waves of people arrived in Sioux City stores Thursday to nab low-priced special items they bought for themselves and as Christmas presents.

Siouxlanders continued with the deluge of shopping on Friday.

Menards in Sioux City opened at 6 a.m. Several hundred vehicles packed the lot, and people poured in and out of the store at 7:40 a.m.

At 7:45 a.m., Irene Rivas, of Sioux City, walked out of Bomgaars carrying her special purchase, a DeWalt drill that was marked down from $299.99 to $199.99.

Rivas said she had looked at an advertisement, and knew it was an item that was worth going out for. She didn't consider shopping at 7 a.m. too early a task.

"I started at 7 a.m. at Sam's Club for TVs and a Ninja Blender, and then we came here," she said. 

The South Sioux City Department later in the day offered an atypical "Black Friday Deal."

Police shared that, "If you have an active warrant and turn yourself in, the South Sioux City Police Department will give you a FREE ride to jail. Use your money to pay the fine or post bond."

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County and education reporter

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