Visalia PD to Launch Holiday Safety Campaign

Visalia, Calif. Officer Tim Connors patrols Mooney Boulevard and around the Visalia Mall as part of his normal duties. This holiday season ... he'll have more officers helping him out during Visalia Police Department's holiday safety campaign.

"I think we probably deter a lot of crimes that we didn't even know were going to happen just by our presence out in the community," said Officer Connors.

Visalia officers deal with an increase in burglary and other crimes of opportunity during the holiday months.

Last year car thefts rose from 54 in October to 70 in November and 62 in December, burglaries jumped from 109 in October to 135 in December, and all other thefts skyrocketed from 281 in October to 419 in December.

As part of the holiday safety campaign, Visalia Police Officers will be increasing patrols of malls, and other shopping districts to try and prevent the crimes they see most during the holiday months.

Det. Kevin Kroeze said, "Car burglaries and thefts from vehicles that are unsecured because there's additional items and presents and things that are in the vehicles it's more of a target at this time of the season."

Visalia Police also want people to watch how they leave their cars when they're out doing their shopping.

"The best thing you can do is make it more difficult for criminals by locking your vehicles and making sure everything is secure. Hiding everything if possible in the trunk," said Det. Kroeze.

Some shoppers we talked to seemed to know exactly what to do to keep their cars safe when they go shopping.

Lisa Renteria said, "I make sure that my car's locked and has its alarm set and everything."

"And of course roll up all the windows and then all the valuables and stuff just put them in the trunk," said Chieng Vue.

The Visalia Police Department's holiday safety campaign begins ... Black Friday ... and goes on through Christmas.

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