Our network

Presents stolen from Jacksonville cars | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Presents stolen from Jacksonville cars

JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - As we head further into the holiday season, local police departments are ramping up their efforts to protect shoppers from crime.

Imagine having your Christmas presents stolen before they ever make it under the tree. That's exactly what happened to a number of people in Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Police Department is trying to find a local Grinch after many residents had their Christmas presents stolen from their cars.

"It's really sad to see these moms and dads that have been out shopping all day... and they got home, and they were just too tired to pull the packages out, then they wake up the next morning and they're all gone," said April Kiser with the Jacksonville Police Department.

Around the holidays, reports of burglaries and thefts increase drastically. It's part of a national trend seen each year. In Jacksonville, thieves have targeted residents in Northlake, Base Meadows, Jaxon Terrace and Sunnyside.

"We get in that Christmas spirit, and we are jolly, and we kind of forget about the people that are out there to see if maybe we are too jolly and forget about our packages in the backseat," said Kiser.

Even in a crowded parking lot around sunset, when there are a lot of people out, you can still clearly see packages in the backseat of cars. Jacksonville PD said that criminals don't even have to get right up on your windows to see what you've got.

"I would be devastated to know that I worked hard for something, bought it for a loved one and someone decided to take it," said Tamesha Cunningham, a manager at Stage in the busy Gregory Place Shopping Center.

That store has partnered with Jacksonville PD for added security during the holidays.

"Just to see the officers patrolling the parking lot and come in to the store and just walk around to make sure that we have no incidents going on, it makes customers more comfortable. It makes them appreciative of their presence here," Cunningham added.

Kiser said there are plenty of things you can do to help protect yourself and your presents this holiday season.

"We want you to make sure you're not leaving your packages inside of your vehicles. You are locking your home, you're locking your vehicles, and if you have to lock your packages in your vehicles, make sure you are putting them away in the trunk."

Some other things you can do to protect yourself from a Grinch are to shop in pairs, park in well-lit areas and keep an eye out for anything suspicious.