Charlotte, NC – With the onset of the winter holidays, the Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Police Department is stepping up patrols and taking
special precautions to ensure the safety of citizens and shoppers
throughout the holiday season. Beginning this week, with one of the
biggest shopping days of the year, police presence will increase and
continue through New Years.
Funded through the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), extra patrols have
been added throughout the entire jurisdiction, providing heightened
visibility, especially in high volume shopping areas. This includes
all major shopping centers, malls, and superstores such as Walmart,
Target, and Sams Club. The Department has allotted more than $80,000
of JAG overtime funding to support this project.
The Department will be paying special attention to its known and
repeat offenders while also employing the full support of its
undercover officers who will be on the lookout for any criminal
activity and suspicious behavior. Officers will have a special focus
on crimes such as shoplifting and larceny from autos. The Department
also plans to fully utilize crime prevention tools such as its Sky
In addition to more police patrols, CMPD will collaborate with private
security firms to combine efforts.
Emphasizing the crucial relationship between the community and law
enforcement, CMPD will be working with local businesses to reinforce
precautionary measures for money management and business safety. The
Department is also encouraging citizens to take preventive steps to
ensure the securing of their property and their personal safety and
offers these tips for the holiday season:
Safety While Shopping
• Pay with checks or credit cards when possible. Don’t flash large
amounts of cash.
• Don’t leave any purchases or your purse unattended while shopping
or in a dressing room.
• Try to carry as little as possible. Make multiple trips to your
vehicle to store your purchases.
• Never leave your children alone.
• If your children get separated from you, teach them to find a
cashier or a security officer and ask for help.
• Report all suspicious activity. Call 911 with a description.
Safety in the Parking Lots
• Park and walk in well-lit areas.
• Walk with confidence be aware of people around you, and know where
• Always lock your car doors after leaving or entering your car.
• Have your keys in your hand so that you don’t have to linger before
entering your car. Check the back seat before you get in.
• Don’t leave packages on the car seats. Keep packages out of sight
in the trunk or under a covered rear cargo area.
Home Holiday Safety
• Make sure your home is well lit. Turn on outside lights,
spotlights, motions lights, etc. Leave several lights on timers while
you are away to give your home that lived in look.
• Keep all shrubbery trimmed. Do not allow shrubbery to conceal
windows or doors.
• Remove anything a burglar could climb up on to gain entry or use to
knock out a window or door; items such as ladders, tools, tables, and
• All exterior doors should be solid, rather than hollow core.
• Don’t leave garage roll down doors open, even while you are home or
while you are doing yard work.
• Use a deadbolt lock to secure your doors. A good deadbolt should
have a 1” throw, if you have glass within 40” of the lock a burglar
could reach in and unlock the door. A double cylinder lock (this type
needs a key on both sides to unlock) should be used if glass is near
• If you are going away contact a trusted neighbor or friend to pick
up your mail, newspaper and other delivered items.
• Try not to leave gifts in open view. This is an invitation to
• Don’t advertise new gifts or purchases. Break up cartons before
leaving them at the curb or dispose of them another way the morning of
trash pick up.
• Don’t forget to engrave new gifts or purchases with your Drivers
• Don’t open your door to strangers. Be wary of solicitors and
salespersons. If a stranger asks to use your telephone, tell them to
stay outside, lock the door behind you and make the call for them.
Never let a stranger inside your home.
• Don’t give any information about yourself or your neighbor to a