Increased officer patrols during holiday season - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Increased officer patrols during holiday season

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

We know it as the season of giving, but for some it's the season of taking. 

Cherry Valley Police met with Cherryvale Mall staff to suggest how mall security can help prevent thefts. Police Chief Mike Neville said shoppers should prepare to see more cops around stores. 

"We generally increase, not only our squads in the area just to have that extra visibility, but we also have officers assigned to the mall at certain times for specific hours, as well as increasing our foot patrol of our normal patrol officers," Cherry Valley Police Chief Mike Neville said.

He said that presence deters crime and gives the public a feeling of safety and over the past few years it looks like that effort is paying off. 

Police said there were 42 retail theft arrests from Nov. 1,  2013  until Jan. 1, 2014  at Cherryvale Mall.  34 occurred from November 1, 2014  until January 1, 2015, and so far this year 18 have occurred since November 1.

However, the mall isn't the only shopping spot thieves target.  Winnebago sheriff's police said they also patrol Machesney Park shopping areas.

"Rockford police have asked us again to assist in patrolling hot spot areas for retail activity, East State Street, Perryville, Corridor and things like that," Winnebago County Sheriff's Police Deputy Chief Scott Meyers said.

He also hopes it will be a deterrent for theft not only inside the store, but outside.

Rockford Police Assistant Deputy Chief Doug Pan said the bulk of thefts are in stores, but sometimes they see purse snatchings as customers leave a shop. So while your mind may be on shopping this season make sure you pay attention to what's around you.

Officers advise shoppers to park in lighted areas, pay attention to surroundings before and after shopping, being alert for people warming in their car, and to check your car before getting in.
 

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