MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The holiday shopping season is about to kick off. The Macon police department is gearing up to handle the crowds and crack down on crime.
Forget the jingle bells, police scanners will be the sound of the season. Macon police precinct four Captain Tracey Brazee says her officers are going to be everywhere, ready to catch criminals before and when they strike.
"They [criminals] work the streets, and they know where the hot items are going to be and where to go and they'll be casing around looking," Brazee said.
In 2011, there were more than 300 holiday related crimes in Macon. This year, MPD is a step ahead. They've got an action plan to curb crime by putting more officers on the street.
"That's our primary goal, to bring the numbers down," Officer Tony Moss said. "We bring the numbers down, we did our job."
You will see twice the number of boys in blue, especially at the Macon Mall and the Eisenhower shopping center.
"They're going to be focusing on all the businesses, the parking lots, the store fronts," Brazee said. "If they [the criminals] get away with it, they're going to have to be really slick because we're going to be out there in full force."
Its not just the shops. You will also see officers canvasing neighborhoods and keeping an eye out for Scrooges to ruin your holiday. MPD Neighborhood Watch Coordinator Judy Gordon says homes are the most vulnerable this time of the year.
"People are watching you more for the opportunity to take your packages, to even come into your home," Gordon said. "If a thief doesn't have an opportunity, then he will not be successful in trying to take something away from you."
There are things you can do to keep yourself safe this holiday season. If you're out shopping, take a buddy with you. When you get to your destination, don't put your purse in the trunk. Instead, leave it at home if you don't want to carry it around. If you're going out of town, keep your windows and doors locked, put your lights on a timer and don't post any of your travel plans on the internet.