Police increase patrols during holiday shopping hours in Piedmont

Piedmont Triad News

(WGHP) — Larceny, theft and car break-ins tend to rise this time of year, according to local police departments.  

While officers beef up patrols this holiday season, some stores are doing it on their own.  

“Always be aware that with more shopping, there will be more crime,” said Lt. Horatious Bowen with the Winston-Salem Police Department. 

More crime means more cop patrols.  

“We know we got a job to do as far as the normal things we do, and this puts a little more pressure on our officers, but they’re there…making the sacrifices for the citizens to be safe,” Bowen said. 

Police in Winston-Salem said that as departments all across the country are dealing with a shortage of officers, they’re finding other ways to stay visible to deter crime this holidays season. They call it Community Patrol Policing, which started around the Thanksgiving holiday as in-person shopping started to boom.  

“What we’re doing is when an officer takes reports, they can come to these areas and do their reports, make phone calls and catch up on paperwork,” Bowen said. 

Greensboro police are also encouraging their officers to work from high-traffic areas.  

“Sometimes we have officers on bikes kind of riding through those shopping areas just to increase our patrols presence in those areas,” said GPD spokesperson Ron Glenn. 

At department stores like Home Depot on Hanes Mall Boulevard, they have Live View units that have cameras watching from every angle.  

The motion detectors alert security officials and give them the ability to speak to potential suspects on the property.

FOX8 spotted one in Greensboro as well at Dick’s Sporting Goods in the Wendover Place shopping mall.  

“It’s nice to know that there’s some time of apparatus device that can watch me, especially when I’m shopping by myself and that type of thing,” said shopper Vicky Floss.  

Police said devices like these are what make the community members safer and aid them in their mission to protect. 

“COVID kept a lot of people in. This year, they’re coming back out and trying to get things back to normal, and we’re telling people ‘do that but be cautious,’” Bowen said.  

Officers want to remind you to shop in pairs and park in well-lit areas.  

If you don’t feel safe going to the car alone, ask a store clerk to walk with you to your car.  

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