TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – The Toledo Police Department (TPD) is targeting the Westfield Franklin Park area to step up efforts to make holiday shopping safer.
Some portable police surveillance cameras have been stationed along Monroe Street and Talmadge Road over the past few weeks to monitor portions of the mall parking lot and other businesses in the area.
"Since we've had the cameras in place our thefts from automobiles has virtually disappeared over there," said TPD Sergeant Joe Heffernan. "And we were getting hit probably four or five times a day a few weeks ago."
Shopper Georgia Tisdale said she welcomes the additional police presence.
"I think it's a good thing because a lot of times women are shopping alone. You feel a little secure when you come out and the cameras are there," Tisdale said.
Joseph's Beverage Center has 32 security cameras for its store, but David Joseph said he'll take all the protection he can get.
"We love it," Joseph said. "People say they're trying to monitor too much, but at the same time, when you need them they're not there, so with [the cameras] there it brings a sense of security."
TPD said the cameras are also highly-visible to raise awareness among shoppers to be proactive about their security.
"This is the time of the year people are hanging outside shopping centers watching what you're bringing out, watching what you put in your car," Heffernan said. "People will go to one store, then another store, making pit stops over at their vehicle, dropping off their gifts. We suggest you don't do that."