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Your Chances of Encountering a Smash-and-Grab are Rare, but if…

By Greg Mellen

Photo by Any Lane

The odds of being caught up in a smash-and-grab robbery during the holiday season are small — though if you were to watch television news in the summer you might think otherwise.

The brazen robberies, which seemed to peak between July and September, are still on the minds of shoppers, retailers, and police with the arrival of the holiday shopping season, when stores are packed with shoppers and merchandise.

Smash-and-grabs are high-profile robberies where groups of thieves, often brandishing hammers, crowbars, and other tools, strike higher-end retail stores and make off with merchandise. Sometimes these are organized crews, sometimes they are simply like-minded people, called flash mobs, that appear after online notices. Many times, the gear they steal is resold to lower-end sellers.

SafeOC, a localized version of the national “If You See Something, Say Something” crime fighting and antiterrorism public awareness campaign, has a wide array of tips you can use to help keep Orange County safe. Although there’s not much members of the public can do to prevent such crimes once they’re unleashed, short of calling 911, you can play an important role in the aftermath.



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