MDPD prepare for holiday crime crackdown

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami-Dade Police officers are stepping up patrols as holiday shoppers hit the stores.

“We’re gonna kick off today our holiday crime initiative called the Grinch Busters,” MDPD Director Juan Perez said.

Officials are warning communities to be aware of crooks who prey on shoppers, looking for unlocked cars and easy targets.

“Honestly, you can never let your guard down,” officer Javier Vega said.

7News took a ride during one of the officer’s patrols of the Palms at Town and Country to get tips on what not to do and what to be on the lookout for.

“When you shop, a lot of people tend to leave their gifts inside their vehicles,” Vega said. “Do not do that. When you leave the mall, and you’re going home, be aware of who’s following you.”

Another important warning when it comes to your cars: lock it or lose it.

“90 percent have been unlocked, so you have individuals who go car to car, usually late at night,” Vega said.

While there are things individuals can do to prevent common crime, the Miami-Dade Police’s Priority Response Team is ready and warning against threats to the South Florida community.

“We know we’ve seen an increase in active shooters and terrorism in other parts of the world,” Perez said. “We’re not gonna have any of that here. We are ready and willing to mitigate any threat that comes into Miami-Dade County.”

MDPD called for a unified and safe holiday season as uniformed and undercover cops were deployed to busy shopping areas.

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