Crime on the Rise During the Holidays

By Haley Burks
NewsWest 9

The Christmas season for thieves just might be the happiest time of the year.

"When you are out and about, don't get so focused on the task at hand that you are not aware of your surroundings," Sergeant David Garcia with the Midland Police Department, said.

Criminals are also counting on your wallet to be full of cold hard cash.

"We preach right now with the economy about not using credit cards. So a lot of people are carrying large amounts of cash and that is another things these criminals know," Garcia said.

He explains that some thieves are using innovative ways to put a damper on your holiday.

"They will approach a female in a parking lot that has a purse slung over her shoulder and pull up and ask for directions and when they get distracted they driver or the passenger will grab the purse and just take off."

Detective Regina Ratliff with the Midland Police Department said it's important to keep your purse secure.

"Most important thing is to use both straps and if you are in a public place that is crowded you want to make sure that bag is secure," Ratliff said.