Waterbury Police Steps Up Presence in Malls Amid Soaring Thefts – NBC Connecticut

A week before Christmas, law enforcement agencies are trying to increase their presence in shopping areas to curb some of the thefts across the state.

Waterbury is increasing its police presence in shopping malls across the city to curb shoplifting and protect shoppers.

Waterbury buyers were out looking for the best gifts.

“It was a lot, especially with two boys and about six nephews,” said Daycus Parker, who went shopping Friday night.

As shoppers go to stores, so are the Waterbury police. The agency is sending officials to the Brass Mill Center until Sunday to reduce thefts and strengthen their presence.

The officials are helping to enforce the mall’s parental guidance program. The program requires that anyone under the age of 18 be accompanied by an adult after 5:00 p.m.

Police support goes a long way and also ensures that buyers feel comfortable, the police said.

“Any time you have extra police presence in a retail store, especially during peak shopping hours, it helps prevent this type of crime,” said Lt. Ryan Bessette, the department’s public information officer.

“The presence of officials in the mall at this time of year also provides an added sense of security for the bustle of shoppers,” he continued.

Buyers tell NBC Connecticut they think this is the right pace after watching videos of thieves pulling out TVs and grabbing laundry detergent and paper towels.

“I think it’s very valuable, especially with the elderly who come out shopping,” said Parker.

Police say there are measures that can make a difference: don’t leave your valuables visible in your car, make sure to lock your doors when entering a store, and be mindful of your surroundings.

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