T’is the season for certain crimes

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SAN DIEGO – – With the holiday shopping season now in full swing, San Diego law enforcement officials are asking you not to leave your common sense at home.

“People get caught up in the holiday spirit and don’t tend to be as proactive when it comes to their safety,” said Lt. Andra Brown, with San Diego Police.

San Diego Police and Sheriff Deputies are upping their patrols at area shopping malls.

“Car prowl burglaries, cars being stolen, purse snatch robberies,” these are some of the most common crimes of the season, said Lt. Andra Brown.

Here are some of the most recent crime statistics from CrimeMapping.Com for several popular mall areas countywide from highest to lowest number of holiday crimes.

  • Auto Break Ins and Auto Theft, October 2012 to November 2012
  1. Horton Plaza (24)
  2. Chula Vista Center (14)
  3. Parkway Plaza (11)
  4. UTC Mall (10)
  5. Mission Valley (9)
  • Thefts & Robberies, October 2012 to November 2012
  1. Horton Plaza (64)
  2. Fashion Valley (33)
  3. Parkway Plaza (30)
  4. Mission Valley (20)
  5. UTC Mall (9)

“San Diego is still one of the safest cities in the country,” said Lt. Brown.

During the 2011 Black Friday Shopping weekend, crime statistics for shopping malls within the city of San Diego were small compared to other large cities across the country, according to San Diego Police:

  • Holiday Crimes at San Diego City Malls, Black Friday Weekend 2011
  1. Fashion Valley Mall (2 car prowls, 0 purse snatchings)
  2. Mission Valley Mall (1 auto theft, 0 purse snatchings)
  3. Horton Plaza (1 car prowl, 0 purse snatchings)
  4. UTC Mall (0)

Even with the low number of incidents in San Diego City malls during Black Friday weekend last year, it doesn’t keep anyone from the possibility of becoming the statistic this year, so here are some tips to help you be smarter than the criminal.

Things to keep in mind this holiday shopping season:

·         Park carefully and as close to your destination at possible.

·         Use shuttles and security if you have to travel a distance to your vehicle.

·         Don’t get overloaded with packages.  You need to see and be able to react.

·         Consider who might be watching you put packages in the trunk of your vehicle.

·         Don’t leave valuables, packages or other personal items unattended in vehicles.

·         Don’t leave purses and wallets unattended while shopping.

·         Carry limited cash and only necessary credit cards.

·         Be aware of who and what is going on around you.

·         Shop with a friend; there is safety in numbers.

·         Dress comfortably and consider leaving the expensive jewelry at home.

·         Plan ahead to ensure your safety.  Shop early and shop safely.

Source: Carlsbad Police

“If you make purchases and take them back to your vehicle make sure you secure them out of site, and if you’re going to go back in to shop some more, as dreadful as it may be, the smartest thing you can do is move your car to another parking spot,” said Lt. Brown.

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