Boardman Police: Black Friday shoppers prime targets for thieves

Local police say they see an increase in thefts during the holiday-shopping season, and many are crimes of opportunity

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BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – It’s the holiday season, which means people will be doing a lot of shopping to get those holiday gifts.

It also means more opportunities for criminal activity

Local police departments said they see an increase in thefts during this season.

Boardman Police Sgt Brian Habeger said the police department doesn’t frequently get calls for disorderly lines or people fighting or trampling one another during the holiday-shopping season. Instead, they get calls from people who are victims of crimes of opportunity.

Big shopping days like Black Friday are perfect for criminals to prey upon distracted shoppers.

The Boardman Police Department is urging shoppers to make sure that they keep track of all of their belongings, and if they choose to leave something in the car, make sure that it is locked up in the trunk.

Police see a lot of thefts from vehicles around the holidays because people leave their belongings visible and even forget to lock their cars. The thing they see most often, however, is theft of smaller items, like purses and credit cards.

“Too many times, there are crimes of opportunity where people leave their purses and credit cards on the counter and somebody will come along and take them, and before they know it, someone has taken that card and made purchases at department stores,” Habeger said.

Police said to be patient in long lines, and if you do get into a confrontation with another person at the store or in the parking lot, call them to cut the conflict short.