Florence police warn of criminal activity as holidays approach

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – If you take a look at the calendar, you may realize we are only two months from Christmas.

With the holidays comes a dark side, and law enforcement are trying to get ahead of the criminal element.

It’s an unfortunate trend Florence police see each year as Christmas approaches. The number of car burglaries spikes and police are asking you to take precautions.

“Criminals, they have holiday season just like we do. So, while we’re out trying to buy items they are out trying to take items,” said Sgt. Dennis Patterson with the Florence Police Department.

Patterson said a lot of the time victims unintentionally help criminals. As shoppers are out and about, they get rushed and forget the first rule of protecting themselves against theft.

“Number one, we want people to lock their car doors,” stated Patterson. “If they lock their car, it would prevent a lot of our unlawful breaking and entering of motor vehicles.”

We challenged Sgt. Patterson to check several cars parked in the police department parking lot to see if they were locked or not. Much to his own surprise, a couple of the vehicles were left open.

“They’re just going to go around to parking lots and pull on car doors, and it’s an easy target for them,” Patterson explained. “So, they just go in and rummage through your items and see what they can steal.”

Patterson said to lock your doors, put your items in the trunk, and be situationally aware of your surroundings. Those precautions will keep you safe this holiday season.

Florence police launched their “Take It or Trunk It” campaign this week. They’re hoping the public will take their warnings to heart and drastically help cut down on thefts this year.

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