Big crowds are anticipated at shopping malls over the next month. That's prompting Sacramento area police departments to increase patrols looking for suspicious activity.
Officer Justin Brown with the Sacramento Police Department says crime usually goes up this time of year.
"During the holidays what we experience is that there may be a slight up-tick in property crimes and even personal crimes - I'm talking about robberies and thefts," explains Brown.
Much of that criminal activity happens at shopping mall parking lots. And although it may seem like common sense to keep valuables in the car trunk and out-of-sight, many people don't do that.
Josh Simon is a lieutenant with the Roseville Police Department.
"We have thieves that patrol through our parking lots and they simply just try door handles," says Simon. "And it's just the easiest thing for them to do, to find an unlocked vehicle."
Simon's advice, to avoid being a victim, is to keep your head up and know who's around you.
"When people are walking out to their cars," says Simon, "if they're talking on their cell phone, if they're walking and looking down, well sometimes the criminals are looking for people that are not paying attention to their surroundings."
Police departments in Roseville, Sacramento and Elk Grove say officers will be patrolling in police cars, unmarked vehicles, on bike and on foot.
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