ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) -- As people across the country celebrate the Christmas season and shop online for holiday gifts the Elk Grove Police Department is making sure thieves don’t steal the holiday cheer.
“We are tackling the package theft problem that we're seeing here but, obviously, everyone is seeing across the United States,” said Elk Grove Police Department spokesperson Jason Jiminez.
The police department announced they are launching Operation Grinch, targeting package thefts in Elk Grove.
“We'll be out setting bait packages throughout the city on various dates and times and locations,” Jiminez said.
Jiminez said for the first year officers will also be driving around the neighborhood in unmarked cars looking for any suspicious activity.
“We launched the bait package portion of this last year,” Jiminez explained. “It was our first year doing it. So this year we are combining it with the unmarked vehicles.”
Elk Grove police suggest having packages delivered to a locker offered by various delivery services, your workplace or a place where someone will be home. It also helps to require a signature before a package can be dropped off.
“This is a crime of opportunity and this is the one time of year where that opportunity increases with the number of packages we all order for the holiday,” Jiminez told FOX40.
While Jiminez said the department is not giving away all of their secrets, he said they are hoping Operation Grinch nabs thieves trying to steal the holiday joy.
“We aren’t sharing much in regards of the game plan itself because, in the end, we want to keep these criminals on their toes,” Jiminez said. “The message we want to send to those individuals that think they're going to come to Elk Grove and take a package is you better think twice because we may be in the area and you may be grabbing one of our bait packages.”
The police department also has a voluntary security camera registration program. They said it allows residents and businesses to register the locations of video surveillance that can potentially assist in investigations.