Posted 9:50 PM 12/26/2012 : Crime Trackers: Oro Valley Police patrols parking lots
TUCSON-It's called the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most stressful time of the year when we're not paying close attention to our surroundings and may become targets for thieves.
Sgt. Andrew Lopez of the Oro Valley Police Department says, "We're finding that shoppers are not locking their vehicles. A lot of time they'll leave packages, sometimes they'll leave purses on their seat, and we try to correct that."
Sgt. Lopez heads the Community Action Team, or CAT squad. Normally they're doing surveillance work, but at this time of year, they're hitting the shopping center parking lots, checking vehicles and talking to shoppers.
Emily Butler couldn't be more pleased she says, "It's scary to think that people can break into your car, but thanks to Oro Valley Police having a bigger presence in the community we're safer."
The CAT unit does what's called saturation patrol. They show up in force and make their presence known to deter thieves.
It's not just the shoppers the CAT squad is helping, they also are going into the businesses. Eric Sheffield of Sheffield's Diamonds says, the police department is giving him, his employees and his clients the greatest gift "It's nice to know that we're protected and secure this time of year for sure."
A couple of tips from Oro Valley Police, lock up your valuables in the trunk, don't leave your purse where it can be seen and be aware of your surroundings.
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