BOSTON (CBS) — It’s the time of year for giving, but many use it for taking.
Police say shoplifting has been on the rise this December, and WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill got a first-hand look at how officers bust people looking for a five-finger discount.READ MORE: Police Searching Woods In Abington For Missing 5-Year-Old Elijah Lewis
In Bedford, Sgt. Paul Saunders is on the shopping patrol, specifically for shoplifting.
“We come into the lot and patrol the perimeter,” he said. “The goal is to prevent crime, prevent it from starting.”
Several Bedford shopping spots are right near a highway exit, making it a hot bed for thieves.
On Tuesday, Saunders says a woman was caught stealing from The Paper Store. He told her she was being recorded, but she confessed to shoplifting anyway.
Bedford is adding extra patrols in parking lots, on the sidewalks and in the stores.READ MORE: 'Plan For Alternatives': Toys May Be In Short Supply This Holiday Season
As WBZ-TV rides along with Saunders, he spots a waiting car outside a store, a tactic often used by teams of shoplifters.
“I saw the lights on, I saw your record,” Saunders tells the driver.
But a quick conversation proves no threat, and Saunders moves on. He admits it’s those small interactions that can make a real difference and fix a big problem.
“The folks in the store feel extra safe and loss prevention has dropped off dramatically,” Saunders said.
MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTONMORE NEWS: Lauren Astley's Father Works With Wayland Students To Raise Awareness About Teen Dating Violence
[display-posts category=”local” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4?”]