AUSTIN, Texas - A bike patrol is a key part of the Kyle Police Department's holiday-safe shopping strategy. The bikes proved valuable last year according to officer James Plant who will coordinate the deployment again this year.
"We’re a lot quieter, we can get into a lot tighter areas than with the police unit. A lot of times they’ll see the police cars they may stop the criminal activity but with the bike, we could sneak up and catch them during the act in progress," said Officer Plant.
The large shopping areas on the north side of Kyle will be the main focus for the 7 person bike team. To help fill potential gaps in coverage, extra surveillance will be provided by a group of trained community volunteers. "What we hope that people Will do is just be smarter, Pay more attention lock their cars when they do go shopping if it’s at night stay in, park in well-lit areas," said Plant.
It’s no secret that many law-enforcement agencies across the country are having a staffing problem. And holiday crime is already making national headlines.
The biggest and boldest took place this past weekend. There were several large smash and grab incidents in San Francisco. While that scene is hard to ignore it’s important to remember -a parking lot is where most criminal activity happens during the holiday season.
"If the opportunity presents itself a criminal is going to take that?" said Manor police detective Andrew Cehand.
MPD will also have traditional holiday patrols this year. A big part of that will be extra units assigned to the growing retail area on the east side of town. But Detective Cehand is also anticipating an uptick in cybercrime, with the increase in online shopping.
"When it comes to online make sure your software is up-to-date, making sure that you know not to keep your debit/ credit cards saved on your computers, it’s going to help a lot, because at any point a scammer could come and get all your information," said Detective Cehand.
Cyber Smart because of the expected increase in cybercrime.
Shoppers are advised to get into the habit of checking their bank accounts every day. Don’t count on preset bank alerts to protect you because some criminals can make purchases under those limits to delay detection.