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NEWS: Crime

Thieves, Vandals Target OKC Mall Parking Lots

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Police say mall parking lots are always hot-spots for thieves, especially during the holiday shopping season. Police say mall parking lots are always hot-spots for thieves, especially during the holiday shopping season.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Tis the season for packed mall parking lots and crimes of opportunity. Metro police are busy investigating a rash of car burglaries from over the weekend at Oklahoma City's two largest malls.

Police say mall parking lots are always hot-spots for thieves, especially during the holiday shopping season. On Black Friday alone, News 9 learned of at least three shoppers targeted at Quail Springs Mall. One of the victims, University of Central Oklahoma student Jordan Ensminger, spoke exclusively with News 9.

"I got to my car, and I found my [convertible] top slashed," said Ensminger. "I was thinking that they thought I had some stuff in my car like gifts but I didn't."

Ensminger's car received about $3,000 worth of damage. He filed a police report and was not alone. Ensminger says he met other victims at the Quail Springs Mall security office early Friday. He says those victims' recently-purchased holiday gifts had been stolen from their cars.

"I try to put [gifts] in the trunk, under the seat, you know, just not visible," holiday shopper Briana White told News 9.

Police say, on average, property is stolen from more than 500 vehicles a month in Oklahoma City, and about 10 cars are taken every day.

At Penn Square Mall, police officers tell News 9 a family was robbed at gunpoint after Black Friday shopping. Police also say catalytic converters are disappearing from the Northwest Side mall's parking areas.

12/2/2013 Related Story: Family Carjacked At Gunpoint Outside OKC Mall On Black Friday

There are simple steps you can take to minimize your risk of becoming a victim. Experts urge drivers to park in areas with plenty of light. Be aware of your surroundings, and keep valuables in the vehicle out of sight.

We have reached out to Quail Springs Mall and Penn Square Mall for comments. Neither responded at this time.

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