The San Diego Sheriff’s Department has kicked off their annual “Holiday Watch” program in an effort to keep shoppers and travelers safe. Much like in previous years, the program kicked off on Thanksgiving and will run through Jan. 2.
Local law enforcement agencies are reported to have stepped up patrols at shopping centers as a means of deterring would be thieves. Undercover operations will also be stepped up and the deputies said they will be working closely with parole and probation officers to apprehend ex-convicts who are in violation of the terms of their release.
Sheriff Bill Gore said residents can expect to see additional patrols on trolleys, parking lots, the coaster, at malls and in neighborhoods. In addition, Crime Prevention Specialists and Senior Patrol Volunteers (SVP) will be passing out flyers with home and vehicle safety tips.
Shoppers are urged to lock all valuables and packages in the trunks of their vehicles. All items of value, including cell phone or laptop chargers, should be stowed out of sight. Shoppers are encouraged to park in well-lit areas and to be aware of their surroundings at all times. People should refrain from carrying large amounts of cash on their person, they said, as this can also increase the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime.
Anyone who believes they see suspicious activity this holiday season is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department immediately.