By Diane Ako
KAHALA (KHNL) -- Shoppers beware! While you're looking for the perfect gift, somebody may be looking to steal your belongings.
Shopping has become a big part of the holidays. And along with the increase in mall traffic comes an increase in crime.
What do you see in this picture? Happy shoppers totin around their purchases? Or someone to possibly rob?
Be aware of your surroundings.
Kahala mall's security director Melvin De Costa says there are always more thefts during the holiday season.
"Narcotics problem and the ice problem, crystal meth, you have a lot more thefts happening in recent years."
The number one issue inside the mall is pickpockets. Watch more than your bags.
"Keep a good hold of it and your child. We don't hang our bag on the back of the chair because people can just walk away with it."
But far and away, De Costa says car break ins are the biggest crime.
"When people leave unattended packages, items, in plain view, in their vehicle, it's like a neon light blinking, come and get me! never do that! Thieves want an easy target. So security lots are the most common place for crime, especially at night."
It's always good to shop in numbers. You have other people helping you, you're not a target. Especially a female, alone, night time, a lot of packages, walking in the parking lot to your vehicle. Safety in numbers.
Other safety tips: park in a well lit area. If you're alone, ask a security guard to escort you to your car. Lock your doors and windows when you get in the car. Go with another person to the restrooms.
Be careful at the ATM and don't flash your cash.