(WMC-TV) - Grinches beware. As you eye other people's holiday goodies, Memphis Police officers are eyeing you on any number of monitors even on ipads and iphones.
"You are going in you are spending money and when you come out, you expect your stuff to be there," Lt. James Grigsby of the Memphis Police Department said.
There's a better chance of that with around 400 cameras scattered across the city. And that footage can be viewed live in the Real Time Crime Center.
"They can actually watch them break into cars," Grigsby said. "They will record it. They will call for uniform cars. Give a description, which way they are walking, where they are going."
The monitors in the center allow the officers to get a larger view of what's going on around the city.
Big Brother comes to life in the room staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Those who run the center said it works.
For example, in 2010 there were 30 car break-ins reported at the Shelby Crossings shopping center on Macon Road. The next year, the department put up one of its mobile sky cop cameras and there were no break-ins reported. Officers are trained to spot suspicious people even if only on camera for a couple seconds.
"People might be standing around a little too long," Grigsby said. "People going back and forth to their trunk or sitting in one spot just looking."
The real time crime center has become a source of pride for MPD as other departments across the country have modeled their crime centers after it.
During the holidays you are encouraged to take big purchases home before you continue shopping.
Officers say the expensive big ticket items are harder to hide in vehicles.