BEDFORD (CBS) — The Bedford Police Department is on a mission to stop thieves from shoplifting during the holiday season.

The department has launched Operation P.A.C.E., an aggressive campaign that involves increased uniformed and plain-clothed police presence at area shopping centers this month.

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The goal of P.A.C.E., which stands for Pro-Active Community Enforcement, is to drive away would-be thieves, and keep the crime rate down during the holiday season.

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“Theft is one of the most common and under-reported crimes that takes place in Bedford, and it typically rises during the holiday season, as thieves take advantage of increased crowds and confusion,” Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno said in a public statement. “But beyond the simple act of stealing from a retail store, we simply do not want these criminals in our community.”

Shoppers in Bedford should expect to see more police officers around, especially during peak shopping hours.

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