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Shopping centers, police prepare for rise in thefts during holidays

By Melanie Wingo

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    ROSEVILLE, California (KCRA) — Destructive, costly thefts happening in cities not too far from the greater Sacramento area have Roseville police thinking about their own security plans heading into the holiday shopping season.

“We are aware of this smash-and-grab-type looting, where a number of people charge into a store, grab everything and leave … out in a mob,” said Roseville Police Department spokesperson Rob Baquera.

There’s a simple reason thieves try to get away with this type of crime, police said.

“The design is, it’s hard to catch everyone,” Baquera said.

Adding to that, the Roseville Police Department said retail thefts go up during the holiday season.

That’s why the department said it is taking steps to increase its security measures at luxury stores and mom-and-pop shops alike.

Shopping centers are not only preparing for more customers as we get closer to the holidays. They’re ramping up plans to prevent theft.

In a statement to KCRA 3, Roseville Galleria management said: “During the holiday timeframe and the resulting heightened traffic, the Roseville Galleria has an increase of security presence and employs Roseville Police Department as well as the Placer County Sheriff Mounted Patrol. We always closely coordinate with Roseville Police Department to ensure our property is as securely maintained as possible.”

Police are asking customers who witness crimes in progress to avoid confronting suspects.

“Never put yourself in harm’s way,” Baquera cautioned. “Never put yourself in the position where you may be injured by one of these people participating in this.”

There is a way shoppers can lend a hand, however.

Baquera said that the best thing you can do is to be a good witness.

Make a mental note of any identifying characteristics suspects may have that can’t be easily changed like tattoos or hair color.

If you observe what kind of car they’re driving or which way they’re headed, that information may be helpful to police.

Police said they are deploying marked patrol cars in greater numbers throughout Roseville’s retail corridor.

They will also conduct undercover operations which will include unmarked patrol cars, bait packages and secret shoppers.

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