Extra DC police will be out in the city’s shopping districts this Christmas season

The holiday shopping season leads to more purchases, and more potential Grinches trying to steal your purchases — and that has D.C. police planning to hit the streets in a very visible way.

“You can really feel the holiday spirit throughout D.C.,” said Police Chief Robert Contee, standing outside a locally owned store in Southeast D.C.’s Barracks Row. To make sure the mood stays festive, he said, “This holiday season we’re deploying over 100 MPD cadets and recruit officers to increase our presence throughout our city.”

They’ll be out and about in the busiest commercial corridors of the city to educate and encourage people on ways to avoid becoming a victim.

“They will be highly visible,” said Contee. “Their main focus is to interact with community, focusing on sharing safety tips and making sure you have a safe and enjoyable time during this holiday season.”

Contee said the city’s number-one crime issue involves thefts from vehicles. He reminded people to never leave packages out in their cars where a would-be thief could see something valuable in there.

“It is a crime of opportunity,” Contee said. “Always take these items with you and secure them inside of the glove compartment or trunk. If you’re parking for a short period of time, never, never leave your car running or your vehicle unlocked.”

He pleaded with anyone who might see a crime happening to call 911, but to also take all the steps to avoid being victimized.

“If you’re out shopping, make sure you don’t overburden yourself with packages and bags,” the chief said. “We oftentimes see people carrying a rack of bags and everything is all over the place and not really paying attention, and you could make yourself susceptible to being pick-pocketed.”

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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