ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Albemarle County Police Department wants to make sure people don't have their purchases stolen during their next holiday shopping trip.
Police officers said members of the community should always lock their cars and hide their purchases in the trunk of their car.
Joseph George, a crime prevention specialist from the Albemarle County Police Department, said these crimes happen with opportunities, including unlocked cars and open windows.
George said there hasn't been a spike of such smash-and-grabs. He said these reports typically come in waves a couple of times throughout the year.
George said people should still explore different options if they don't have a trunk where they can store their purchases.
"If you don't have a trunk, say you have a sports utility vehicle, a lot of times there's a retractable cover that you can put over," he said. "Sometimes there are hidden compartments under the floor. You can store smaller things in there. If none of those options work for you, bring a blanket. Cover up all your valuables with a blanket."
George also said people should park under lights when they're out shopping at night.
If you experience a theft, you're asked to report the incident to the Albemarle County Police Department's non-emergency line at (434) 296-5807.