(FOX40.COM) – The number of unsuspecting people who have gotten their personal belongings stolen right from under their nose while shopping has seemingly increased.

“Holiday time is upon us and once again, we’d like to remind shoppers to not leave your personal belongings unattended in your cart,” the Rocklin Police Department said in a social media post on Tuesday. “We’ve seen an increase in pick-pocket thefts lately.”

How it happens

Police say that while a victim is shopping with their belongings in the shopping cart basket and distracted, the thief uses it as an opportunity to steal the victim’s wallet, cellphone, or other items.

After stealing the items the thief leaves the store and immediately travels to a separate location, usually a big box store, to use the victim’s credit cards to make large purchases, according to law enforcement. The victim may be unaware that their property is missing until checkout or when they begin to receive fraud notices on their cell phone or in the mail from their bank.

Law enforcement advised people to keep their belongings secure while they shop.

“Never leave your items, especially a wallet or purse, in your cart unattended,” Rocklin PD said on social media. “Be aware while you shop.”