Tis the season for holiday shopping. Malls and shops are packed with people looking for that perfect gift. But amongst the shoppers looking for deals, there are thieves looking to steal. But stores are cracking down.
At Best Buy, and other major stores, the holidays mean more cameras and more sets of eyes watching shoppers' every move. Every year it's estimated the economic impact of shoplifting is about $30 billion.
Tom Quarles, Operations Manager at Post Oak Mall says, because of more traffic in the mall, an increase in shoplifting is expected.
Two reasons shoplifting happens more often during the holidays; one, more shoppers and two more holiday displays to make shoplifting easier.
Some of the hot items snatched are electronic gadgets like the IPOD. DVDs and CDs are also popular items taken during the holiday rush. The number of theft cases in Bryan and College Station vary, but numbers do go up during the month of December.
In 2003, Bryan received 113 reported theft cases in November; just a month later, that number increased to 154. College Station saw 27 theft cases in November, and that number rose to 52 during December.
"As far as security guards are concerned...we're here to assist them, if they need assistance and primarily visible throughout the mall," says Quarles.
So be wary when you brave the crowds, store security will be watching to see if you're naughty or nice.