St. Petersburg police kick off holiday shopping safety campaign

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The season of giving is also the season of stealing for criminals.

Police report package thefts and car break-ins traditionally spike this time of year.

That’s why the St. Petersburg Police Department is kicking off a safety campaign aimed at protecting shoppers while at the mall and protecting your belongings.

Officers fanned out at the Tyrone Square Mall, passing out pamphlets to shoppers going into and coming out of the mall.

The department is also beefing up patrols around busy shopping areas. Most find comfort in knowing there’s going to be an increased law enforcement presence.

Officer Stefani Lesperance gave Niki McNealy one of the fliers. McNealy was returning to her car with her family at the time.

“I think it’s a good thing. You have shoppers out here spending their hard-earned money for their loved ones,” said McNealy. “So to know our stuff is being protected, that’s a good thing.”

St. Pete Police Chief Anthony Holloway was among the officers giving out the brochures and speaking to customers. He adds, don’t leave anything in your car that could tempt a thief.

“Don’t leave your packages where people can see them. Lock them in the trunk of your car,” said Chief Holloway.

He went on to say sometimes cars are broken into when people drop purchases off and go back in to shop for more.

“If you can, sometime, just move your car if you’re going to be here for a long period of time, so that person that is watching you, they don’t think you’re just going in and out.”

Police are also asking shoppers to be their eyes and ears and report any suspicious activity.

Follow Chip Osowski on Facebook

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s