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Shoppers Beware of Holiday Smash and Grab - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Shoppers Beware of Holiday Smash and Grab

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Shoppers beware.  While you are busy collecting all those gifts for your loved ones, criminals are on the prowl for an easy target.

'Tis the season to shop 'til you drop, but loading up the car with all those presents could lead to trouble.

Charlottesville shopper Debbie Hall said, "I've seen too many people break into car windows even being able to get into the trunk through breaking in the car window."

Lt. Ronnie Roberts with the Charlottesville Police Department says they always see a spike in car break-ins this time of year.  The department calls them smash and grabs; the crook smashes your car window and grabs your gifts.

"The criminal element looks at the bags, see where you shopped at," Roberts said.  "If this is something they're looking for, if they're for a new vacuum or a new television or something like a new game that just came out." 

Inside the Fashion Square Mall parking lot we found three cars back to back all with expensive items in them, clearly visible and ready to be taken.

Roberts said, "I think the biggest thing is it does surprise you to a degree."

The advice from the pros is to make frequent trips back to your home to prevent a present pileup, put the gifts in your trunk, and if you don't have trunk, bring a blanket and cover it up.

"Try to make sure everything is hidden and not tempting," Hall said.

All in an effort to make sure the Grinch doesn't steal your Christmas this year.

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