Crime Stoppers says ‘groups target shoppers,’ keep your holiday gifts safe with these tips

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — Brazen smash-and-grab burglaries and acts of violence seemingly spike during the holiday season. In fact, a study done by Porch.com showed 83,000 burglaries happened during the holidays just last year.

With Black Friday shopping this week and Christmas just around the corner, KIRO 7 reached out to the Alderwood Mall and Lynnwood Police Department about any steps they may be taking to reduce or deter crimes this year.

We did not hear back from the mall but the Lynnwood Police Department did tell us that over the weekend they will be increasing their patrols around the mall.

Last year, there were 792 shoplifts around Lynnwood. This year the city is already at 736 shoplifts. That’s a number that some residents and Lynnwood shoppers found surprising.

“I had no idea it was that much. I mean I live like ten minutes away and I had no clue!” said Max Ayala.

KIRO 7 also reached out to the Executive Director of Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound, Jim Fuda, and learned that one of the most common mistakes people make during the holidays is throwing their new purchases in the car and leaving them unattended.

Fuda put it plainly, “There’s groups out there that target shoppers.”

Some of Lynnwood Police Department’s basic tips for shoppers this year are:

  • Take your shopping bags with you.
  • Do not leave personal valuables in your car.
  • Stay vigilant. Be aware of your surroundings.

A fourth tip added by Jim Fuda is to also trust your gut. If something feels “off” he said, “There’s no harm in a false alarm.”

The Lynnwood Police Department also told KIRO 7, “We have a great partnership with the mall as well and will continue to work with them this holiday season.”

If you’re shopping around Lynnwood, here’s the police department’s non-emergency line to keep on hand, 425-407-3999.

For additional safety tips from Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound, click here for an informational video on “situational awareness”.