Operation Secret Santa

This notice is archived content and this information may no longer be accurate.
Annual Holiday Operation to Stop Economy Driven Thefts

WHAT: Officers take their enforcement efforts inside the mall to prevent shoplifting while officers on horseback, motorcycles and unmarked cars patrol the shopping mall parking lots. Chief Jane Castor will address the troops as they kick off the operation designed to prevent car burglaries, car thefts and shoplifting.

WHERE: Police Command Post Westshore Mall (in front of Maggiano’s)

WHEN: 11/23, 10 a.m.

With “Black Friday” and the holiday season upon us, the Tampa Police Department will launch a strong police presence in mall parking lots. The annual mall operation significantly decreases crime in the parking lots and shopping malls. While officers patrol the parking lots, they will be looking for criminal activity, but also educating shoppers about the dangers of leaving packages and valuables in their vehicles.

More than $35 million dollars a day in goods are stolen from retailers in the U.S. Shoplifting overburdens the police and the courts, adds to a store's security expenses, costs consumers more for goods and costs communities lost dollars in sales taxes.

This year officers will patrol in the shopping areas through January 1st.

Holiday Shopping Tips
Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you. If you see people "hanging around" parking garages, parking lots, or the outside of stores, avoid the area. Notify the police or security department.

If possible, shop before dark. Coordinate shopping trips with a friend if you plan to be out late. Always park your car in a well lit area.

Lock your car doors and windows even if you are only gone for a few minutes.

Keep packages and other valuables out of public view, preferably locked in the trunk.

Park near street lights if possible and have your keys in hand when you return to your car. Always check the interior of your car before you unlock the door to get in.

To discourage purse snatchers, don’t overburden yourself with packages. Have your purchases delivered whenever practical.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check or credit card whenever possible.
Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse under your arm with the strap across your body. Keep a wallet in an inside jacket pocket, not a back trouser pocket.

Teach your children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if they should become separated in a store or shopping mall. They should never go into a parking lot alone.