FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- In Fayetteville, police are out in force patrolling for real life Grinches who could steal your holiday joy.
Shoppers in area malls and stores may rub elbows with more undercover officers this year.
While you are inside looking for bargains, police say thieves are cruising parking lots for freebies as well: cars left unlocked, packages in plain view and other easy pickings.
In response, police have stepped up their holiday presence. And that includes officers patrolling business parking lots. They may even proactively warn shoppers not to be careless.
"It's something we preach to everybody," said Fayetteville police officer Shawn Strepay. "Lock your cars, remove valuables and take your keys."
Many shoppers say this Christmas, they have more cash to spend.
"I am finally able to get a job, so I am like, get a job, and spend my money wisely," said shopper Nathalie Diaz-Mitchell.
If shoppers carrying packages are any indication, merchants hope this Christmas will be big.
"The women mostly look for bracelets, and on the other side, the guys are coming in and buying a lot of chains," said Jonathan Goodman, a jewelry salesman.
Police say shop in pairs, and be aware what's going on around you. Some common sense tips will help keep this Christmas bright and special.