SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - As we inch closer to Christmas, many shoppers are searching high and low for that perfect gift.
But Christmas crooks are also looking for the perfect opportunity to ruin your holiday.
Shoppers are out and about, and police are increasing their presence to make sure your presents aren't stolen
“Robberies sometimes do increase this time of year because there's a lot more people out there that may be carrying cash or have their credit cards for their shopping experience," said Southaven Police Captain Mark Little.
To combat shoplifting and auto burglaries, the Southaven Police Department puts together “Operation Christmas Presence.”
“We have up to three or four officers that are working extra,” Captain Little said. “They come in at the peak times, in the afternoon and they work through the evenings until the stores close.”
Shoppers at the Tanger Outlets think the increase in police presence is a good idea.
"This time of year where you have a lot of thefts and different things going on so it's always helpful to know that the police is around,” said shopper Latunia Washington.
"They always will have an eye out and they’ll notice things if something goes wrong and you always see someone to go to if something’s happening,” said shopper Catherine Barkley.
Captain Little said officers also hand out friendly reminders.
"We have little courtesy notes not tickets, but courtesy notes that we leave. 'Hey, we noticed you got stuff. Please put it in your trunk. Out of sight, out of mind,” Captain Little said.
Captain Little also suggests if you’re going to several stores within a shopping center, move your car to a different spot.