November 30 2015

Police Upping Patrols to Prevent Shoplifting and Property Crime During Holiday Season


Burlington has a lot of places to shop for the holidays, which is good for the local economy, but it also means thieves are interested in getting in on the action. 

The Burlington Police Department is gearing up to combat them. 

Chief Michael Kent and the department have increased police patrols at popular shopping areas during the holiday season in an effort to target and reduce incidents of retail theft and property crime at the Burlington Mall and areas surrounding the mall, including the new Third Avenue shopping area, a statement reads. 

"The goal of increasing our visible presence is to deter criminal activity but also to give shoppers coming to Burlington comfort that this stepped up enforcement will make their visit more enjoyable," Kent said. "Those who chose to commit these crimes should know that arrests will be the preferred response by officers."

The effort began on Saturday, November 28. During the ramp-up Burlington police will be adding at least three additional patrol officers to these areas during the holiday shopping season.

Through crime analysis, the department found that the highest percentage of retail theft during the holiday season occurred on Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m., the release states. Prior to increased patrol in 2011, Burlington received 41 calls for retail theft during these hours. 

Since starting these directed patrols in the retail business district in 2012, Burlington has seen a significant drop in calls of this nature:

• 2012, 29 retail theft calls


• 2013, 13 retail theft calls


• 2014, 8 retail theft calls


As reported on BNEWS, police are also cracking down on those parking illegally in handicap parking spots during the holiday season. 

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