(KMOV.com) -- Thousands of shoppers continue to flock to malls and shopping centers around the St. Louis area both Thursday and into Friday morning looking for the best Black Friday deals and law enforcement officials will be on high alert for thieves.
Police in Des Peres, Missouri, said while shoppers may be focused on finding the best deals inside the store, criminals are looking for expensive items inside of cars.
“We might have a couple of assaults, but usually that is not too bad,” said Des Peres Officer Brockman, “It’s mostly the shoplifting and stealing.”
Des Peres Police said they will have more officers on duty on Black Friday than ever before to help combat potential problems.
“The on-duty officers will also make extra patrols through the lot,” Brockman said, “We’ll check in between cars for people going down shaking door handles. We’ve caught a few of those.”
Police said many shoppers will admit they leave stuff they buy in their car while still shopping, but police warn, that even if shoppers attempt to hide items, they can still be stolen.
Brockman said even if people take an extra step to hide items, they will often find the handle of their car damaged or a window broken out.
Authorities advise that once a shopper leaves to take the items home or to a friend’s house before going to the next store.
Des Peres Police said this will be the first year they will have undercover officers inside West County Center in order to catch the bad guys.