As The Holidays Arrive, Crime Increases

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With the holiday season approaching quickly, police say an annual increase in crime in our area is also on the way. Officers say they see a tremendous spike in crimes every year, especially vehicle burglaries...and it's already started here in the Truckee Meadows.

One place that's been hard hit recently is Virginia Lake. Police say it's an ideal place to commit a crime.

People who frequent the lake say it happens all the time...even in broad daylight. Car windows...smashed in...and your things taken, in just minutes.

"The car was right by a little picnic area and there were a lot of people around but nobody saw or heard anything. It's frustrating," said Christine DePersia of Reno.

Police say crimes spike when the weather turns colder...depression may kick in...and people's needs increase.

"Normally when you're shopping, you bring your purse or wallet with you. But when you're jogging or working out, you leave your stuff in your car and burglars know that," said Lt. Ron Donnelly with the Reno Police Department.

Shopping centers can also be a sales bring crowds...and sometimes, thieves.

"It happens at the Meadowood Mall all the time. This time of year, Christmas approaching. People need to buy things. They want things, they want money," said Grace Flores of Reno.

It's a nightmare we've all heard about...a car full of Christmas gifts...taken in an instant...

"There are people that cruise parking lots, looking for that. They're looking for that new laptop, that new iPod, some hot item they can steal. Think about hiding your packages," said Donnelly.

Security guards patrol the lot at The Summit, but the mall manager says there are ways you can protect yourself.

"Do not leave valuables in the car. If they aren't visible, if they're locked up in the trunk, people can't get them," said Property Manager Larry Hunt.

Police expect crimes to go up even higher as the holidays get unfortunate reality...but one they say you should not ignore.

"I guess we are all too trusting. We don't want to think people will do that, but we know they do," said DePersia.