Don't Let a Grinch Steal Your Christmas

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'Tis the season for giving. But some thieves are more interested in taking.

That is why College Station Police are warning shoppers to safeguard themselves this holiday season.

"The holidays are a busy season for the stores, but they're also a busy season for the criminals as well," Master Officer Ryan Flynn with the College Station Police Department said.

As people head out to find all the big deals, others are looking for something to steal. Piling presents in your car could make you an easy target.

"People go ahead and buy all these presents at one store and go to another store," Flynn said. "While they're in another business someone will go steal thousands of dollars of Christmas gifts they just bought."

Those aren't the only things police say are being left in cars, purses are another left behind item.

From 2004 to 2006, in November and December alone police say they had about 19 robberies, more than 800 thefts, and about 371 vehicle burglaries.

"There are definitely an increase in car break-ins and robberies around the stores because there are more people there," Flynn said.

That's why shoppers need to be extra careful during this time of year.

Some helpful tips include: be aware of your surroundings, shop in numbers, keep your purse on you at all times, and if you make a lot of purchases the best idea is to drop them off at home, not the backseat of your car.

"If possible try to use a check or credit card," Flynn said. "Don't carry a dozen credit cards with you. Try to keep it down to two or three credit cards you frequently use."

Officers say even though they will have extra security on hand they can't be everywhere. That is why shoppers need to keep a watchful eye out to make sure a Grinch doesn't steal their Christmas.