Police: Holiday brings more crime; shoplifting and burglary


Who doesn't love the holiday shopping season? There are deep discounts and extended store hours for shoppers, who are welcomed by businesses with open-arms. But local law enforcement is quick to remind the public that the annual shopping frenzy also serves as an opportune time for crooks looking to steal from unsuspecting consumers."You have to be more cautious this time of year," said Vestavia Hills Police Lt. Brian Gilham.Police say during the holiday season, they see a spike in various crimes, including shoplifting, fraudulent use of credit cards and residential burglaries. According to the authorities, the average burglary victim loses more than $1,500{}worth of valuables.{}"Everyone is more busy. You have a lot of places to be in a shorter period of time, but take a few minutes to plan out your day. Make sure you take reasonable precautions to safeguard your home," said Gilham.{}Law enforcement is urging shoppers, as well as homeowners, to pay more attention to the details of their financial statements and regularly lock the doors of their vehicles and homes.{}"We encourage everyone to take reasonable steps to make sure they don't become a victim and if they do, please call us," said Gilham.{}As for the criminals this holiday season, police have this message:{} Be prepared to face serious consequences because we will catch you.