MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Police Department is helping keep your holidays bright by deterring Christmas crime. Authorities say crimes like vehicle break-ins, shoplifting, and other larcenies increase during the holidays, desperate thieves looking for ways to take advantage of your holiday cheer.
"We're looking for maybe individuals in the parking lots maybe looking into vehicles trying to check door handles and things," Lt. Joey Crosby said. "We also encourage the public that if you see someone acting in that nature that you please give us a call and let us investigate."
Authorities say they've been ramping up their patrols since Thanksgiving weekend, making sure they're seen in areas busy with shoppers.
"When we have a large contingency of people in a certain location, we do want to make sure we're visible and make sure everybody is safe," Crosby said.
The MBPD is hoping to deter crime with their presence. Officers will be keeping their focus on parking lots especially.
"People will go shopping and have so many packages they'll leave them in their back seat thinking they're safe and go to their next shopping destination," Crosby said. "What we do is certainly encourage you to secure those items as best as possible to make sure they're not in plain view."
Probably the easiest precaution authorities advise you to take to keep your belongings safe is simply making sure you lock your doors.
WMBF took a look at a few popular shopping locations this time of year around Myrtle Beach. In just the past 30 days, Myrtle Beach police report at least 5 larceny incidents at Coastal Grand Mall, 8 at Target, and 32 at Walmart.
Many of those focused on shoplifting incidents, something authorities are also keeping a close eye on this time of year.
"Someone that's thinking about committing a crime or something that is illegal, if they see a uniformed officer or they see that patrol car it generally deters them or they think twice about doing it," Crosby said."What we want to do is be visible so that you are seeing a sufficient amount of police officers in those areas to prevent that from happening."