Police look out for criminals on store rooftops across Las Vegas
It's the time of year when traffic is heavy in and around shopping centers, and police are taking a unique approach to targeting criminals.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's the time of year when traffic is heavy in and around shopping centers.
Unfortunately, that means criminals are often lurking, hoping to find unsuspecting victims.
In this week's Crime Beat, Metro tells us how they work to make sure thieves don't put a damper on your holiday cheer.
While all eyes seem to be on the deals, police are watching for criminals. Not just in stores, but outside too -- and they often have a birds-eye view.
Metro Lieutenant Shawn Anderson took us up the narrow ladder to the roof of the Best Buy on Rainbow near the 215.
"It's ideal to be up here, because if you look out across this parking lot, I'm able to see an entire shopping complex," said Lt. Anderson. "I can talk to my partner out there and tell them to move from the north side of the parking lot to the south side, and contact the person that might be of concern to us."
Having police up high and on the ground in unmarked cars and plain clothes is all part of Metro's holiday initiative to crack down on shoplifting and robberies.
"I'm looking for people that are lingering," said Lt. Anderson. "The bad guy is going to weave in and out of cars, looking for that cell phone or GPS or shopping bag in the back seat."
As customers make their purchases, Metro is watching over, sending a message to any potential thieves.
"You don't know where we are at, which rooftop we are in or how we are dressed," Lt. Anderson said. "But we know where you're at."
Metro adjusted staffing to plan for this holiday initiative months in advance. Past calls for service and incident report help determine where police are stationed during the holiday season. They insist they're at shopping centers all over the Valley.
Police want to remind shoppers to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.
Keep everything locked, and keep valuables and shopping bags hidden in your car.
If you feel uncomfortable, never hesitate to ask a police officer, security guard or store employee to walk you to your car.
According to Metro Police, the holiday initiative has already helped reduce crime numbers at local shopping centers.