TAMPA — Police are taking to the malls.
They'll be on horseback, motorcycle and unmarked cars.
Starting Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., dozens of Tampa police officers will begin patrolling International Plaza, Westshore Plaza and the Dale Mabry Boulevard shopping corridor in anticipation of an uptick in holiday-related property crime, including car burglaries.
Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis offered these tips to holiday shoppers:
• Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you. If you see people hanging around parking garages, parking lots, or outside stores, avoid the area.
• If possible, shop before dark. Coordinate shopping trips with a friend if you plan to be out late. Park in well-lit areas.
• Lock your car doors and windows, even if you are going to be gone a few minutes.
• Keep packages and other valuables out of public view.
• Park near streetlights and have keep your keys in hand when you return to your car.
• Don't overburden yourself with packages.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with checks or credit cards.
• Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse with the strap across your body. Keep your wallet inside a jacket pocket.
• Tell your children to go to a store clerk or security guard for help if they become separated.