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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — They’re some of the busiest shopping days of the entire year.

Thousands will crowd malls and shopping centers and now police are stepping up their effort to try to prevent crime.

“Don’t leave stuff in plain view inside your cars, don’t leave your purses and handbags for the women inside shopping carts,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez.

Tuesday inside Dadeland Mall, Miami Dade brought in their tactical units, gearing up for the holidays and what they call “Operation Grinchbusters,” a show of force at large malls and shopping centers.

“You’re going to see more police presence at the mall, you’re going to see more uniformed cars, you’re going to see bicycle patrol,” said Perez.

Police say what you won’t see are all the undercover cops already hard at work.

“The mall is inundated with shoppers and criminals alike,” said Officer David Castillo, who is already on patrol outside the mall.

Castillo says he’s always on the lookout for anything suspicious.

“Anybody’s who’s in a car in the mall and it’s the time to be shopping why are you in your car,” said Castillo.

He also looks for the things that make people vulnerable.

“See that guy carrying his phone in his hand not paying attention to what he’s doing looking down at his phone, distracted,” he said.

The extra police presence will continue through Christmas, and police say there will be more enforcement at any place where large crowds gather.


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