It’s that time of year again. Consumers are busting down the doors of retail stores everywhere. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also the perfect time for criminals to be on the lookout for freebies.
People are indulging in holiday shopping, and it’s not uncommon for the crime rate to increase throughout the season. In preparation for the increase in shoppers and crime in the Northern Virginia area, the Fairfax County Police Department is sending out its Retail Anti-Theft teams.
“Every holiday season FCPD deploys our Retail Anti-Theft teams,” said Lucy Caldwell, public information officer for the department. “These are officers who are assigned specifically to malls and retail outlets throughout our county. Some of these officers are undercover, others are uniformed.”
Every year, these officers arrest dozens of people for crimes ranging from shoplifting to armed robbery and other financial scams, Caldwell explained. In the past few years, FCPD has seen an increase in thieves using stolen credit cards and fraudulent I.D. Caldwell said the department currently has officers in training for deployment of teams next week.
“Our goal is to continue to keep Fairfax County a safe place to enjoy the holiday season, while people shop, dine and celebrate the festive season,” Caldwell said.
FCPD will conduct an online chat at 10 a.m. Tuesday in an effort to answer residents' questions and address their concerns. Questions can be submitted here.