A spree of smash-and-grab crimes is hitting stores across the country, and the brazen attacks have targeted large retailers, high-end boutiques and small mom-and-pop shops.
“It's shocking and terriblem and it's happening all over the place,” said Resja Bremone, a Carlsbad Village employee.
While Bremone hadn’t heard of any smash-and-grab crimes in the area, she said her shop and many others in North County haven’t been immune to theft.
“Street people and thieves, they are ruthless,” said Louis David Lytle, owner of Wave Weapon in Oceanside. "They don't care who they hurt. They’re just in it for the money."
Police warn theft and burglaries are expected to increase during the holiday season
“Definitely during the holiday season, I get numerous calls as a patrol officer for thefts here at our stores, not just the big retail stores but also the small stores," said Oceanside Police officer Savannah Mcinerny.
OPD aim to curb crime with special operations called Sticky Fingers.
"We have undercover officers as well as patrol officers in uniform here at a lot of our major retail stores, saturating the area,” Mcinerny said.
The task force will be in full force throughout the holiday season, working to keep retailers and their employees safe. As for shoppers, they have some tips:
"I would invite shoppers to not keep anything of value in your car, to always keep your head up in stores as well as the parking lot, and if you see something, say something," Mcinerny said.