Alton police employ bait cars to protect Holiday shoppers

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ALTON, IL (KTVI) - Tis the season to be jolly but it's also the season for bad guys to take advantage of those of us distracted by the hustle and bustle.  This time of year shoppers always hear the warnings about leaving packages in their cars in plain sight.

But this year a warning for those thieves targeting shopping centers in Alton, IL.   The police department is outfitting cars with cameras and other high tech gadgets to help them catch those hoping to play Scrooge this Christmas.   The vehicles will be stationed in parking lots and neighborhoods.

They are on loan from a local car dealership.  Still to decrease your chances of being a victim follow these tips:

“Keep all valuables out of view, lock up your vehicle, do not leave your vehicles running unattended, park in a well lit  or safe location,  and mind your surroundings each time you're going to and from your vehicles”, says Sgt Terry Buhs.

The bait cars are also being used to catch those more interested in stealing the car.   Alton police say they do see a slight increase in car thefts this time of year.