South Plains law enforcement increasing patrols for holiday crime, safety

South Plains law enforcement increasing patrols for holiday crime, safety
Idalou Police Department is among those offering a "close watch." (Source: KCBD)
Texas DPS encourages safe holiday travel. (Source: KCBD)
Texas DPS encourages safe holiday travel. (Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The holiday season brings great joy but also an uptick in crime and crashes, so Lubbock area law enforcement agencies are increasing patrols and keeping a watch for suspicious activity.

The Lubbock County Sheriff's Office is in the midst of its "Operation St. Nick," designed to cut down on the increase in property crime and crime activity in rural parts of the county. Additional patrols have been dispatched to those areas but property owners are also encouraged to be on the lookout for and report and suspicious activity to 806-775-1480.

Police departments in the county like Lubbock, Idalou and Wolfforth offer ways for residents to keep their property safe if out of town for the holidays as their officers also keep a close eye on those neighborhoods with a "close watch."

"Basically, it's a house watch," Idalou Chief of Police David Wilson said. "They'll call and tell us what dates they will be gone, who's allowed to be there, what cars are supposed to be there. That way we can drive by and if a car isn't supposed to be there then we'll stop and check and see who it is and ID any body."

All those departments tell KCBD you can contact them to put your house under that "close watch."

The Lubbock Police Department says its officers are targeting other holiday crime like package thefts with undercover patrols, auto burglaries with Mounted Patrol officers in the South Plains Mall parking lot and traffic accidents with more units during New Year's, specifically in the Depot District and downtown.

The Texas Department of Public Safety will also have all available troopers looking for drunk drivers, speeders, seat belt violators and other dangerous drivers from December 24 to 27 and again December 31 to January 1.

"We are seeing the fatal crashes inside of Lubbock and around the county of Lubbock and other surrounding counties so we would encourage people to be vigilant while driving and drive defensively," Sergeant John Gonzalez said. "Slow down. Wear your seat belt and make those wise choices and not drink and drive."

Copyright 2017 KCBD. All rights reserved.