Shoplifting spikes before holiday shopping season this year

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Many people consider the holiday season the time of year for giving but police say unfortunately it's the time of year when they see the most stealing.

We're just hours away from the official start of the holiday shopping season.

Shoppers are clipping coupons and waiting in line for the best deal.
And the shop lifters aren't too far behind.

As we enter the holiday season, YPD says the total number of shoplifting cases so far this year is already more than all of last year.

There were 634 shoplifting cases so far this year. Compare that to a total off 597 cases for all of last year.

141 shop lifting cases were reported during November and December of last year. We've racked up 17 so far this year.

We spoke with some shoppers who say it's upsetting yet not surprising.

"I think it's horrible because why should people work hard for what they want for it to get took? That's not right. If you want something, you should go work for it," said "Tom."

"I think with the unemployment rate the way it is and just people want that special thing for their family members and unfortunately if they can't afford it I feel a lot of people are drawn into the shoplifting thing," Tammy Cole said.

Police are trying to crack down on the theft in various ways.

Officers say during the holiday season they keep tabs on known robbers and suspects by staying in touch with their probation officers.

Still, they say there's not much they can do to stop the greed.

"Money is always plays a big part in it, either one because they can't afford that particular gift or two because they just want to go ahead and get the quick cash so they're going to go ahead and sell the item for a lot cheaper than they can buy it," said YPD Sergeant, David Cortez.

It's a time of year that some are looking to take advantage of others good deeds.