Southaven police crack down on holiday crime - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Southaven police crack down on holiday crime

As the holiday rush heats up, so does the potential for crime. That's truer than ever in Southaven, Miss., where a brand new mall is open for business.

But police have a message for crooks who attempt to cash in.

"If anyone out there wants to come to the city of Southaven, or DeSoto County for that matter,we've got something waiting for them," says Officer Jayson Fernandez.

It's called "Operation: Christmas Presence."

It's a police detail specifically designed to deal with crime associated with holiday shopping.

"During this time we use both marked and un-marked patrol cars as well as uniformed and plain clothes officers to try and deter these types of activities," says Fernandez.

The effort is already paying off with the public.

"It makes you feel safe to see somebody going around watching, you know," says one shopper.

"And when you can see them on the streets, you just feel safer," says another.

Southaven Police are also using what are called "courtesy citations" to inform shoppers who have made some simple mistakes.

"All it says is simply that one of our officers observed items in plain view in your vehicle that are tempting to criminals," says Officer Fernandez. "And in the future put them up, conceal them in the trunk, cover with blankets, whatever is necessary," he adds.

And while the city's new mall may not have been busy on Thanksgiving, it will be over the next few weeks.

The key is keeping it, and other shopping areas, crime-free this holiday season. Police departments all over the Mid-South have similar efforts during the holidays. But safety starts with the public. Common sense tips, like keeping your stuff out of sight, should be on the top of everyone's list.

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