As the holiday shopping season approaches the Marana and Oro Valley police departments are gearing up for their holiday presence around the shopping areas.

Each year from Dec. 16 to Dec. 24, the Marana police increases their numbers during its annual holiday patrol.

“We will add officers and we will pull officers from detectives or our specialty units, and adjust schedules to focus on the shopping centers,” said Sgt. Tim Brunenkant, a Marana police spokesperson. “We heighten visibility just to show our support for the shopping community, but also to detour any shoplifting or purse snatching. It is more of a proactive approach for the shopping season.”

A few weeks ago, the Marana police traveled door to door to businesses along Thornydale road, from Ina to Orange Grove roads, asking their opinion of how they are doing as a department, where they can improve, and if they have seen any particular crimes that have not been addressed.

Brunenkant said the department got a really good response from this just in time for the holiday shopping season.

“We are going to use that information to deploy our resources during the holiday season,” he said.

It is a time of year when people are shopping in the afternoons after a day of work, or on the weekends. The police know this, but so do the criminals who might want to take advantage of that.

Lt. John Teachout, spokesman for the Oro Valley Police Department, asks the public to be vigilant during the upcoming shopping season. People are buying expensive gifts, and storing them in their cars or simply traveling from the store to their cars with their purchases.

“Be aware of you surroundings, be aware of suspicious behavior – people doing things that might seem out of the norm, that might seem out of place,” Teachout said.

If there is a person peeking into vehicles or seen trying to open car doors, police ask that you report it as soon as you see it. They would rather respond to someone trying to find their car rather than respond to a burglary or car theft after the fact.

Teachout said Oro Valley police will also have plain-clothed officers in and around shopping centers, especially during peak shopping times.

“(We can) take enforcement action if necessary to curtail shoplifting and vehicle breakings,” he said.

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