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Police urge caution ahead of busy holiday shopping season

Law enforcement has issued a warning of caution as thefts start rising ahead of the holidays— here's how you can stay safe.

BRYANT, Ark. — We've all heard stories of a package being stolen off a neighbor's porch or a car getting broken into— now, as we head into a busy holiday shopping season, law enforcement shared some tips to make sure those stories are significantly less common this year.

"It's gonna pick up, a lot more people out and about," said Sergeant Todd Crowson with the Bryant Police Department. "We get a lot of shoplifting calls."

Because if you don't pay attention, you're likely to encounter a Grinch— or at the very least, someone just as mean.

"Crime of opportunity," Crowson said. "We want to take that away from them, and we can do that with the help of the public as well."

Crowson said that as we get further into the holidays, thefts are likely to spike. In Sherwood, they're already seeing that firsthand.

"It is frustrating, you know, we do this every year and yet we still have way too many," Richard McNeil with Sherwood Police said.

Just looking through the department's Facebook page, it's easy to see examples of holiday thefts. From the stores to the neighborhoods, McNeil said that it's a problem.

These are crimes of opportunity," he said. "You know, we have people driving around in the neighborhoods, just looking to see if there's a package on a porch to take. If they see it, then they're going to take it."

While both departments plan on increasing patrols during the holidays, there are also simple things you can do to protect yourself.

Always lock your doors, both at home and in your car. You can also ask a friend to grab any packages off your porch for you.

Keep an eye on your bank account to make sure there are no unwanted charges, and always pay attention to your surroundings while out holiday shopping.

These aren't guarantees to stop something from happening, but anything can help.

"Grocery stores, the neighborhoods, it doesn't matter," McNeil said. "People are looking for something quick and easy, and they don't care how they go about getting it."


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