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Cleveland police issue holiday shopping warning

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CLEVELAND, Ohio - Cleveland police report there's been an increase in shoplifting at local stores during the holiday shopping season and especially people using stolen credit cards to go on shopping sprees.

Police are looking for a suspect who shoplifted hundreds of dollars from a Skechers shoe store at Steelyard Commons.

Five other suspects stole hundreds of dollars in merchandise from the nearby Burlington store.

But there are other crimes that happen during the holidays when people are focused on the busy shopping season.

"This time of year I'm more alert and pay attention. It entails looking around in the area that your walking in, noticing people that are lingering," said Rahedeshia Young-Willingham.

Cleveland police are also looking for a man and woman who used a stolen credit card at a gas station and went on a shopping spree at Steelyard Commons.

And police are looking for a female suspect who used a stolen credit card to rack up two thousand dollars at the Target store in Steelyard Commons.

In the past, credit cards have been taken from stolen purses, from cars and people have been robbed of their wallets.

Police also say to not leave your purse unattended in your shopping cart.

"There's a lot more people getting robbed these days, because of the holidays a lot of people are desperate," said Betty Courtwright.

These incidents are not just happening at Steelyard Commons, but at malls and other shopping areas.

Brittany and Max shop together.

"The buddy system, we use the buddy system. Don't shop or go anywhere by yourself," said Brittany Bistrican.

"I never keep my purse outside of my jacket. I keep it inside of my jacket just in case, because it can easily get snatched," Bistrican said.

"I try not to carry my purse with me, and if I do I carry it around me or in front of me," Courtwright said.

Police also say to put your purse and shopping bags in your trunk.

Don't get tunnel vision, or distracted and pay attention to your surroundings especially in parking lots.

And one you probably heard before, but important, at night park in well lit areas and hopefully you'll have a happy holiday shopping season.

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