Police increase patrols in downtown Milwaukee for holiday season

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MILWAUKEE -- Police are warning that the holiday season brings those looking to steal more than the Christmas spirit! In the days leading up to Christmas, Milwaukee police are working to prevent seasonal crimes.

Downtown Milwaukee offers a lot of activities for those looking to celebrate the holiday season. From Milwaukee's Red Arrow Park to shows like A Christmas Carol at the Pabst Theater and holiday offerings from other venues downtown, many look to make holiday memories with loved ones. 

However, there are a select few looking to spoil the mood.

That's why police say they've increased patrols in entertainment and shopping districts in downtown Milwaukee. It is part of a Milwaukee Police Department effort called "Holiday Presence." 

"We're out walking the beat, making ourselves more visible (downtown). Downtown has a lot to offer, (but) during this time there are increased entry-to-auto issues," Milwaukee Police Sgt. Teresa Heidemann said.

Sgt. Heidemann says the effort began on Thanksgiving, and the "Holiday Presence" effort runs from around noon to midnight.

"We like to remind people to keep all their valuables locked in the trunk -- their chargers, their phones, their GPS systems," Sgt. Heidemann said.

While spending the day with family on Sunday, December 23rd, Trina Frost recalled how quickly car thieves can operate, and what could be inside vehicles this time of year.

"I've been broken into. I think that's a good idea to have more cops out here," Frost said.

The "Holiday Presence" effort runs through the new year. Police say these measures are taking place in districts across the city.