This time of year means it is time for a little extra shopping, but historically armed robberies increase as people scrounge for money for the holidays.
"Just after six o' clock (Wednesday) night, we were dispatched to a Family Dollar in the 2600 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in reference to an armed robbery," explained Sgt. Bill Goodin, Shreveport Police spokesman. This is an all too common situation that we hear about during this busy holiday season.
A male suspect, identified as Cardario Winn, armed with a handgun, demanded money from a clerk and fled with an undisclosed amount of money. Less than eighteen hours after the crime was committed, the suspect is behind bars after he surrendered to police on Thursday.
Authorities credit the quick identification and response to Operation I.M.P.A.C.T. and Operation R.I.D., which stands for Robbery Intervention Detail. Both operations are task forces that the police department implemented in order to prevent armed robberies and other serious crimes from happening in Shreveport.
The Shreveport Police Department has two groups on the streets working to prevent crimes from happening. "It's a multi-faceted approach," Sgt. Goodin said. Officers in uniform in marked cars and officers in regular clothes in unmarked cars are both being proactive in preventing a holiday crime increase. An increased number of detectives are out on the streets prepared to investigate a crime scene like the armed robbery from Wednesday night.
While officers are working hard to patrol shopping centers like this one, there are some ways that you can help them. "The most important thing you can do is call your police department if you see any suspicious activity," Sgt. Goodin said. "We actually offer free services where a community liaison officer can come out to your business and talk to employees, owners, and management about robbery prevention techniques."
Police do not see one business more at risk of being targeted than any other business. They suggest that any business open to the public have their employees keep their eyes open and look for that individual loitering around having no real purpose for being at the location.