The La Quinta police department and the Riverside County Sheriff's department are getting a jump start on shopper safety this season. Nine people are in custody after police served several warrants for burglary and robbery charges over the weekend. The department also plans to bulk up their patrols for the Black Friday shopping madness. "Flooding the area with officers on bike, in cars, in plain clothes, segways, we're going to use every means possible," said La Quinta police Sergeant Robert Pickowitz.
The added presence is just one way the police are hoping to making one thing clear to any possible criminals. "The message we really want to send out is if you're going to commit crimes, in and around shopping centers and theft, you're going to be caught," said Pickowitz.
The police department offers several tips for shoppers this season, including:
-Keep valuables out of sight in your parked car
-Avoid wearing expensive jewelry
-Stay alert of your surroundings
-Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
-Keep cash in your front pocket
-Be extra careful if you carry a wallet or purse.
Shoppers in La Quinta also offered some tips:
"Keep your pin number and your credit card number safe from view by others," said Dave Smith.
"Keep your kids close to you, don't let them run around, watch those streets because there's a lot of people driving around," said Kristian Eccles.
While the police can not guarantee the best deal for shoppers, they're offering peace of mind for them. "I think people need to take responsibility for their safety as well but the police are here, making a presence, it just keeps everyone safe," said Susan Veldey.