Christmas is a time for giving, and for criminals, it's a time for taking away.
With shopping at an all-time high this time of year, police usually see a significant uptick in burglaries and armed robberies and are warning residents that this holiday season is no exception.
"During this time of year we get some armed robberies that aren't typical at least of our city," said Monrovia Police Lt. Nels Orlund. "Generally retail theft increases and we see an increase of theft out of cars."
Police encourage residents not to leave shopping items in their cars, at least not in plain view. And Lt. Zeke Cerecerez had a simple tip for people trying to prevent theft from their vehicles: lock your car doors.
"You'd be surprised to see how many people keep their vehicles unlocked at night," Cerecerez said. "Those people who are aout and about at all hours of the night--they're looking for an easy opportunity. All they do is walk up and down the street checking car doors."
Luckily, holiday theft hasn't really picked up just yet, Orlund said.
"It really has been pretty mild so far," he said, noting that police have been responding to the normal amount of burglary and petty theft calls. "I'm hoping at least for the next four weeks that that's the most exciting stuff I have to tell you."