Thieves are taking advantage of unsuspecting shoppers as the holiday season gets underway. In the last couple of weeks, Hazard Police have arrested two alleged purse snatchers.
Police officers are stepping up patrols in retail areas to keep an eye out for thieves, but they say that's no reason to let your guard down.
Police are asking shoppers, especially women who carry purses, to be extra careful when they head to the stores.
"You always get an increase in those types of thefts of opportunities and a lot of times it can be prevented by people being a little more vigilant," said Deputy Chief of Police, Joseph Engle.
"I'm worried about my purse but I don't usually keep that much in it. My biggest worry is the babies when we come shopping," said shopper Melanie Helm.
It may be easier to get that shopping done with your purse inside the cart, but police say that's also easier for a crook to get ahold of it and get away with it fast. They say you should always keep it on your body or locked in the trunk of your car.
When it comes to your car, police say make sure nothing of value is visible and lock it up, no matter what.
"Especially in this area people will just go to the parking lots of the local stores looking for things to get out of vehicles," added Engle.
Thieves will also prey on items left in the beds of pick-up trucks.
Police fear desperation could make these theft cases turn violent, so never try to fight off a thief yourself.
When a suspect uses force against a victim that turns a theft case into a robbery.
Police say there's no question these crimes are going to happen, but some can easily be prevented.