Extra police patrols will be out around busy shopping areas for the holiday season

TULSA - Holiday shoppers across the country are already camped out waiting for Black Friday deals, but criminals are also waiting for an opportunity to take advantage of the large crowds and hectic atmosphere.

"That is what people that commit those type of crimes, that's what they target, they're looking for an easy hit," said Sgt. Eric Nelson with the Tulsa Police Department.

Tulsa police are beefing up their patrols in some of the city's busiest areas, called the Safe Shopper program.  

"It's a special assignment that the department does to make sure, ensure the safety of the general public," said Nelson.

Shawna Bedford is already planning her holiday shopping trip. She says, besides the deals, safety is on the top of her mind.

"Just keep your money on you, leave your purse at home, take just what you need, the less you carry the safer you are," said Bedford.

That's the kind of alert attitude police hope others have when they hit the sales

"They know not to do the things, like leave their purses, leave stuff but there's a lot of people and there's a lot of fun and they just don't think about it until they come back and their windows been broken and all their stuff has been stolen," said Nelson.

There will be increased patrols both by car and bike, there will be reserve officers and undercover officers.
"I've got the entire mall area is in my beat," said Tulsa police officer Don Holloway.

Holloway says he's gearing up for a big change in the scenery around 71st street for the weeks to come.

"There will be probably three times as many people, coming to this area, at least three times as many people then just your normal day," said Holloway.

He says he will be out driving through parking lots at the stores and mall.  looking for people who could be up to no-good.  Just being there could make all the difference.

"They don't keep statistics on crimes that we prevent," said Holloway.

The increased patrols for the safe shopper program starts and runs until the day after the Christmas.

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