Valdosta - It's an annual holiday tradition but without the holiday cheer.
Valdosta police see an increase in the amounts of robberies, burglaries and car break-ins each winter. But this year police have a new game plan to assure all of your holiday gifts make it under the tree.
Police won't tell us where, but say they are now wiring hidden cameras at hot spots throughout the city. They hope it will help them curb the holiday crime spree. "I hope its a message to our would-be burglars, that we do have cameras up but you are not going to be able to see them so take your chances," says Commander Brian Childress with the Valdosta Police.
While they are hoping these high tech gadgets will help reverse this holiday trend, they are utilizing some old school techniques as well.
For the past year, police have been mapping every burglary, robbery and car break-in in the city. Now they'll be beefing up patrols in these areas. "One of the better maps we have are heat index maps and they show a balloon where crimes are occurring and we just ask our officers to patrol those areas more heavily," Childress adds.
Police cruisers aren't the only patrols you'll see. "This year you'll see an increase in bike officers at the mall in those areas, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Around our businesses, you'll see bike officers in your area too."
These officers are working out of season to assure the only steal you'll see is at the mall.
Police say they can't do it alone. They say simple tips like locking your doors and hiding gifts and other merchandise in your trunk can help them reduce crime this holiday season.