ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Law enforcement leaders in Orange County announced the start of their annual initiative to crack down on holiday crime.
“Operation Safe Holidays” kicked off Wednesday during an event at the Florida Mall.
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Officials described the program as a proactive push for increased awareness and security during the shopping and holiday season.
Law enforcement leaders said they are increasing patrols around shopping centers and malls to reduce theft.
“We are going to have deputies and officers out there in marked cars and unmarked cars,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said. “They’re going to be in plain clothes. They’re going to be on horseback. They’re going to be on bicycles and motorcycles. All in an effort to keep our residents safe while they shop.”
While deputies and officers will be on the lookout for suspicious activity, everyone is encouraged to take their own safety measures.
As part of the program, shoppers are asked to lock their vehicles, keep valuables out of sight and be aware of their surroundings.
People who shop online are urged to ask their delivery company to keep packages out of view or have a trusted neighbor pick up their deliveries if they’re away from home.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has also made places available for people to dispose of boxes for things like televisions, so they aren’t left on the curb, signaling to thieves that new equipment is in your home.
There are seven “burglar box” locations available in Orange County:
- OCSO Sector 1 Sub-station
- 1111 North Rock Springs Rd, Apopka, FL 32712
- 1250 N. Alafaya Trl, Orlando, FL 32828
- Valencia College School of Public Safety
- 8600 Valencia College Ln, Orlando, FL 32825
- OCSO Sector 3 Sub-station
- 475 West Story Rd, Ocoee, FL 34761
- Saint Luke’s United Methodist Church
- 4851 S. Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
- Sedano’s Supermarket
- 12981 S. Orange Blossom Trl, Orlando, FL 32837
- 11957 S. Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32836