"Good people want to give and receive presents as much as criminals do and if given the opportunity they will give your presents to someone they love," says Belpre chief of police Ernest Clevenger.
A rash of crimes right before the holidays, criminals see dollar signs in their eyes.
"Thefts, especially in the way of shoplifting, retail thefts or thefts from vehicles. We see an increase in robberies, we see an increase in burglaries," says Sgt. Greg Collins of the Parkersburg Police Detective Bureau. So a lot of it is the bad guys know that it's an abundant time."
Use extra caution, holidays bring out the best and worst in people.
"I would recommend that residents in the area be cognizant when they're shopping of what they put in their car and where they put it, preferably in the trunk or out of sight of casual walkersby," Clevenger says.
Don't get lost in the deals, steals and crazy commotion, it makes you a mark.
"I think busy people become complacent and let their guard down regarding what's going on around them and they become an easier target this time of year," Collins says. "So it's important to keep your guard up and pay attention to what's going on around you."
Criminal minds see these joyous times as a way of life, but local police have other plans.
"Some criminals know that business is going to be good for them and it is a business for them," Collins says. "They conduct theirself in that manner, so it's something that we have to adjust our game to and we have to anticipate an increase in crime this time of year."
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