ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV) – Police in the St. Louis area are stepping up their efforts this holiday season to protect shoppers being targeted by criminals.
They are hoping to send the message that criminals better think twice before committing a crime.
“That is something a bit new this year that we’ve expanded on,” said St. Louis County Police Lt. Steve Hampton. “We’ve tried to add some undercover officers that are out in different areas observing crime as it happens, hopefully to prevent it.”
And shoppers already notice the high police presence. Not only will officers drive up and down parking lots, they’ll check license plates and peak inside of cars looking for anything suspicious.
“Well it does make you feel safe,” said shopper Linda Moore. “You don’t have to worry about anybody trying to rob you while you’re getting out of the car of if you go in the store while you’re coming out.”
And not only will people see them in parking lots of shopping centers, extra patrols will ride around neighborhoods as well.
Burglaries tend to go up around the holidays because criminals know people are buying presents.
“The biggest things are Playstations, games, TVs, high-end stuff and that’s what criminals are going to look for,” said Hampton.
The department is adjusting some if its officers’ hours so more cops are working between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m, which is when most businesses are open.
They’ll be concentrating on the busiest shopping areas, including malls, strip centers and gas stations.
This will continue through New Year’s Day throughout St. Louis County.