The holiday season isn’t always as bright and cheery as we hope and crime often increases this time of year. The U.S. usually sees a 20% spike in crime during the last two months of the year. But Allen police are taking precautions to keep residents safe.

After several robberies and purse snatchings in Collin County, Allen police released safety tips and protocols for residents and visitors during the holiday season. During the past two months, strange robberies and purse-snatchers have victimized neighboring Frisco, Allen police warn residents of possible dangers and crimes during the holiday season. 

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) robbery and personal larceny reports, robbery and personal theft crimes typically increase in December. Both types of crime increase by about 20% during November and December every year. 

Here is how to stay safe:

  • When possible, avoid shopping alone. 
  • At night, park in well-lit areas. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings outside AND in the store. 
  • Carry a minimal amount of cash. 
  • Do not leave purchased items visible in your parked vehicle. 
  • Do not leave your purse/wallet unattended for any amount of time. 
  • Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason. 
  • Have your keys out and ready before you get to your vehicle. 
  • Call law enforcement immediately to report crimes in progress or suspicious subjects loitering in parking lots. 
  • Protect your PIN during purchases. 
  • Watch for skimming devices at gas pumps before using a credit card. 
  • Be cautious when using an ATM.  Use machines located in busy areas and be aware of your surroundings. 
  • When purchasing online, always verify websites and use secured payment methods.

In order to keep Allen residents and visitors safe, police presence will increase during major shopping days and hours at popular retail stores and malls in the city. The department began increasing security on Black Friday, but will continue to push police activity through the rest of the season until December 23.

“Officers will be looking to keep the peace and to suppress criminal activity. Officers will circulate through parking areas, drive along the retail corridors looking for anything suspicious and provide extra protection for shoppers in Allen as we enter the holiday gift-buying season,” Allen police said in a release. 

To report any suspicious activity contact the Allen Police Department at (214) 509-4200.