Christmas time and spike in crime go hand-in-hand - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Christmas time and spike in crime go hand-in-hand

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For most people, the holidays are a time for caroling and Christmas shopping, but it's also when crime is on the rise. For most people, the holidays are a time for caroling and Christmas shopping, but it's also when crime is on the rise.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

As Christmas lights go up, so does the crime rate.

"We definitely see, statistically see, an increase in theft-related crimes from Black Friday up through New Years," said Lt. Damian Williams with Madison Police.   

Just this month, three Dollar Generals in Huntsville have been robbed and put people who work near them, on edge. Rocket City Meats is right across the street from the Dollar General that was hit earlier this month. 

"You're kind of on alert yourself, because you never know if you're going to be the next target," said cashier April Appleton. "So we do things to prepare ourselves for that so we won't be a victim of that kind of crime. We have cameras in place, we also have a panic button just in case there is an emergency situation, and we close before dark."

Workers at Hill Lawnmower and Chainsaw follow a similar strategy. Just next door is the Dollar General on Andrew Jackson Way that was robbed Tuesday night.  

"It just lets us keep in mind that there's that possibility of being robbed, so we all try to keep our eye on the show room and keep our eye on any customers that come into the store," said sales clerk Bryan Hill. "We just keep an overall eye on what's going on around us." 

Police said the economy and the unemployment rate play a big role in Christmas crimes, but if merchants keep their eyes peeled, it can head off this criminal holiday tradition.  

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