NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- 'Tis the season for thieves and Nassau County Police are stepping up patrols and urging shoppers to take proper precautions as they hit the malls this holiday season.
Over the next few weeks, holiday shoppers in Nassau County are likely to see officers patrolling the malls on horses.
"Right now I can see about five to six feet, when you're on a horse that increases to about 13 feet so they could see above cars, they can see through lanes of traffic," Nassau County Detective Lt. Richard Lebrun said. "They enhance the presence of the police department."
Undercover officers will be around as well, but Lebrun said there are preventative measures shoppers can take to make sure they don't end up the victims of theft.
At the Broadway Mall in Hicksville, while presenting their safety tips. it took all of about two minutes for police to find a parked SUV with a purse clearly visible in the backseat.
"Anybody can go up to that car, if the door was open, open the door, take that, it takes about five seconds," Lebrun said.
LeBrun said make sure your purse, wallet and gifts are covered up and not visible inside your vehicle. Also make sure to take your key fob with you when you walk away from your car and lock your doors.
"Ninety-seven percent of our vehicles, high-end vehicles especially, that are stolen in Nassau, that fob is left in the vehicle. That is basically giving that perpetrator a free ride in your car," Lebrun said. "Maybe you may get that car back, maybe not. We do have a couple of rings running through Nassau County and sometimes we find the cars in different locations other than Nassau County."