Police warn shoppers about holiday season break-ins

Honolulu police warn shoppers about holiday season break-ins

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With Black Friday just around the corner, thieves are hoping to cash in during the busy shopping season. When it comes to holiday steals, customers want deep discounts, not crooks ripping off their stuff.

"We have a lot of car break-ins at this time. We have a 10% increase during the holidays," said Kim Buffett of Honolulu CrimeStoppers.

"I take normal precautions, lock my car, don't leave my purse lying around, things like that," said Kilauea resident Ibbie Alshamma.

The Denver Police Department just released a video featuring a former thief named David who offers safety tips for shoppers.

He describes how thieves pretend to talk on the phone while waiting for people to put valuables into their cars and then continue shopping. Trying to hide your valuables under the seat doesn't always work either since crooks are watching your body language.

"We just go, break the window, open the trunk, then we grab what we can and go. Alarms go off and the people won't even look cause it's not their vehicle," he said.

Honolulu Police say they've responded to a lot of smash and grabs lately.

"By the time security gets to the vehicle, they're probably long gone and again we do have the videos, but this is after the fact. Your items are gone," said Buffett.

If you have to leave valuables in your car, hide them before your reach your destination.

Other tips include shopping with a partner who can help carry or watch your belongings and always be aware of your surroundings.

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