The holiday shopping season is about to get underway, and Police in Georgetown say the holiday bandits are already at work. A new analysis reveals a surprise about where they are targeting their victims.
Holiday music is already playing at shopping complexes across The metro area. In Georgetown Kristina Lopez is among those trying to get a jump on the rush.
"Yes even when I'm planning my wedding, I've already started to think about what to buy for everyone," said Lopez.
It's also the time of year when thieves are bargain-hunting - by watching what New merchandise that shoppers are bringing out of stores. Two years ago in Georgetown they were very busy. The Police Department reported 332 car burglaries in 2013 which prompted a safety crackdown .
That effort lowered the number of cases to 134 in 2014 But so far this year Georgetown police Lt. Jim Seals has seen an increase in cases --- with 139.
"There's debate about what's causing it but we do know that we have people to travel down the interstate and get off at various cities.They'll stop off and hit an area and hit 15 or 20 cars and get back on within 30 or 40 minutes and be gone," said Lt. Seals.
Because of that scenario it was determine patrols and safety initiatives could not just focus only on retail areas. Analysts with the Georgetown Police Department started crunching the numbers. What they found was a little surprising. The majority of the car burglaries were happening out here in neighborhoods. Two thirds of the cases so far this year have taken place in residential areas of Georgetown - and 74% of the cases involved vehicles that were unlocked.
"When your victimized by burglary of a motor vehicle you can be secondarily victimized by Identity theft or they get your garage door opener they can come back and break in your residence. That's why you just take your belongings and lock your car," said Seals.
Kristina Lopez not only agreed with that, as a university professor of criminology, she teaches it.
"You're less likely to get targeted if you just put everything up and don't tempt them with anything ... less opportunity for you to get victimized," said Lopez.
That advice will make sure your holiday season will get off to a good start. There are a few catch phrases to keep in mind while shopping and after you get home which essentially say; Hide it - Lock it or Lose it.