Security beefed up for holiday shoppers
BATON ROUGE- Local retailers are getting ready to beef up security at malls around the area as the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear.
Baton Rouge Police are also preparing for thefts to increase during this time too.
At the Mall at Cortana, mall managers say extra security is being added. Right now, at least 30 security officers patrol the area, along with extra duty Baton Rouge Police Officers.
Glenn Wilson is a savvy shopper who has many years of holiday shopping under his belt.
"I'm wrapping the bags around my hand so if they jerk them, they have to take me with the bag," Wilson said.
Wilson said he was happy to see the extra security around the mall, but said it's unfortunately people resort to robbing and shoplifting.
"It's really disgusting to have it happen to anybody," Wilson said. "People work real hard for what they get, some of these people don't work at all. They think you owe it to them and they will snatch it and run."
According to Baton Rouge Police Crime Statistics from 2010-2011, thefts increased in the area encompassed by the Mall at Cortana.
In 2010 there were 62 thefts in November and 82 in December. Last year there were 50 thefts in November, 61 in December.
"Most shoplifters get caught," Corporal Tommy Stubbs said. "Especially if you shoplift around a store. Security will be beefed up and people will be watching."
Shoppers told News 2 the extra security is a welcomed sight, but they will continue taking precautions anyway.
"I'm usually careful when I go to the mall or go shopping," Gwen Elliott said. "I usually take precautions and put money in a personal place. I also look around where I shop."
Shoplifting carries a hefty penalty if caught and convicted. Shoplifters could face up to a $500 fine and six months in prison.