Don't let crooks end up with your goodies -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Don't let crooks end up with your goodies

November 24, 2006

Albany -- Property theft increases during the holidays, up to 36 percent here in Albany. And police expect an even bigger increase this year. So you need to make sure you and you belongings are well protected.      

After a long day at the mall Amanda Crystal and her friend have lots of packages. "We got sales a Victoria's Secret. You went in there and got a bag full of goodies," said shopper Anna Smith.

Since Amanda Crystal was a victim of theft in the past, she's sure to protect her valuables. "I keep my purse on my shoulder and my elbow close up against it, just to keep from little hands from getting in there. We kinda half and half bags so we're not carrying too much," said Crystal.

Police say others should do the same while out Christmas shopping because it decreases chances of bags being left behind and stolen.

During the holidays people have lots of errands to run and Christmas gift shopping to do. Police say on the top of that to do list it should be holiday safety.

APD has increased patrols at the mall and in the parking lot. We walked around with one officer who says he saw car doors left unlocked, CD players, and shopping bags visible in parked cars. "It makes it easier for the thief. He sees something that's an easy target he's going to take it," said Sgt. Joe Moored.

Smart shoppers say they lock their purchases in their trunk. And then lock their car doors. Another tip from police-- Know where your parked your car and have your keys in hand to unlock your car.

We found one young woman who looking for her car.  But she says she'll remember where she parks next time in case there a criminal is lurking nearby. "Then they could come and attack you if you don't know where your car is. They could take you off I guess and take you off," said Valerie Harrison.

On the busiest shopping day of the season, many people come out looking for the good sales. But there are people looking for a better deal by stealing. Police say be observant and protect yourself and your purchases.

Remember, don't shop alone at night, park in well-lighted areas, and look around when using an ATM.