A news story coming out of McKinney, Texas recently confirms police are currently warning area residents that people are being robbed in store parking lots--including a Costco store nearby.

This begs the question: are thefts on the rise, generally speaking? Will we see more of this here at our stores in Tyler, Longview, and all around East Texas?

Well, we do know that thefts tend to rise during the holiday shopping season. People who are desperate for money for shopping or whatever may opt for more desperate means.

So what exactly happened in these McKinney, Texas area parking lots?

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"McKinney Police Department reported two instances of a suspect distracting someone while another suspect sneaks into the victim's vehicle to steal personal belongings," according to WFAA's report

Case #1: On their Facebook page, McKinney Police shared a photo that gives a detailed look at an incident that occurred in a Costco parking lot back on Friday, November 11 at around 12:20 p.m.

You'll see that "suspect #1" is wearing a mask and a hat. He told the victim there was something near the back of her car. While she bends over to look (look at the red circle on the right), "suspect #2" who is the one in the photo circled on the left, gets into her car and then runs off with her property--in this case, her wallet.

Here's the photo again:

Photo courtesy of McKinney Police Department
Photo courtesy of McKinney Police Department
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Case #2: Previous to the case discussed above, McKinney Police shared "an elderly man was distracted by a man and a woman asking for directions while standing at the back of his vehicle. That is when another suspect entered his vehicle and stole several credit cards." This occurred back on Sunday, November 6 at approximately 12:30 p.m.

So what does this have to do with those of us who live in East Texas?

These things can happen anywhere. Please, when you're out shopping, please be EXTRA mindful of yourself, your loved ones, and your belongings--no matter WHERE you are. Things get even more frantic during this busy time of year.

McKinney, Texas Police shared some tips that may be helpful to you. Here's some of what they shared:

"Lock, Take, Hide. If you leave your vehicle, make sure it is locked. Always. If you can, take everything out of your vehicle. If you must leave items inside your vehicle, make sure you hide them or put them in the trunk.

 

While loading items into your vehicle, make sure you have your purse or wallet on you at all times. Do not leave personal items in your vehicle, even for a short period of time.

And if you see something, say something. If something or someone just “seems off”, do not hesitate to call 911.

Be informed. Don’t become a victim."

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