Even though total robberies in Shreveport are down 30% for the year compared to last year, Shreveport Police's Robbery Task Force is already starting an operation for the holiday season.
Detective John Jackson, Shreveport Police Department reminds shoppers to "be careful, it's this time of year people get desperate for money."
The Shreveport Police Department is already adding extra uniformed and undercover officers to patrol the streets as Shreveport, historically, sees an increase in some crimes during the holiday season. During this time "personal robberies go up and business robberies go up," explained Sgt. Craig Ivy, Shreveport Police Armed Robbery Division. The goal of this operation "is to prevent armed robberies first of all, and if we can't prevent them, then catch them."
Detective Jackson is part of the Robbery Intervention Detail who will spend a lot of time patrolling parking lots and other areas with heavy retail traffic. The Robbery Intervention Detail is a combination of efforts from numerous departments including narcotics and undercover agents.
"Primarily, we're going to focus on areas where there are shopping centers and businesses," Detective Jackson explained. Other places that might be prone to armed robberies will also be more heavily patrolled. "We want a big presence to try to deter it." Detective Jackson explains that with the addition of officers in unmarked cars, then they have the opportunity to get up closer to the situation to see if a person of interest is doing something wrong.
With the increased number of detectives on the streets, they will be quick to respond if they do receive an armed robbery call. "A group of four or five detectives immediately working on any robbery" helps them to get leads early on in an investigation.
While officers will be doing their duty to protect citizens from crime during the holiday season by patrolling shopping centers and neighborhood streets, they have suggestions for how you can avoid becoming a victim of a holiday crime.
"If you can shop in groups that will be helpful, and also if you can walk in well-lit areas," suggests Sgt. Ivy. "Be mindful of your surroundings." He also recommends that if you do not have the opportunity to take purchases home, then place them out of sight and in the trunk of your vehicle.