|Updated: 11/26/2012 9:10 am
||Published: 11/23/2012 7:45 pm
Pepper spray or even guns are being in Black Friday shoplifting busts across the country.
These thieves are not afraid to hurt you or others to get what they want.
Tulsa Police officers and reserves are combing parking lots on bicycle, marked and unmarked cars, hoping to keep serial shoplifters away.
If you see someone inside stuffing clothes or other presents in their purse or department store bags, you may have the urge to want to say something.
However, police recommend you avoid any confrontation because these shoplifters can be dangerous.
"You don't really want to agitate those people because it could be bad for you,” said shopper David Ellis.
In Tulsa, detectives in the TPD Organized Retail Crime Unit estimate shoplifters are stealing $2 million in sales taxes.
"Them doing that is making me pay more in the first place," said Ellis.
These are not Santa’s helpers. These are violent shoplifters connected to underground shoplifting rings connected to millions of dollars.
"I don't want to see that,” said shopper Linda Lewis.
That’s why security is increasing during the holiday shopping season.
"Usually TPD is in front of the doors. That's the first person I would go to," said Ellis.
TPD’s officers working Operation Safe Shopper are seen in parking lots across Tulsa’s shopping centers.
"We have a lot of officers are out here the good guys and the bad guys can see us," said TPD Corporal Brian Collum.
Some shoppers are just giving the look of shame.
"If I am that close and I see that I will give them the eye 'oh please don't,’" said Lewis.
Thieves are soiling the Tide name so local retailers have been forced to lock it up to keep it on shelves.
The Organized Retail Crime Federation reports jeans, infant formula and electronics are among the hot items to steal and resale.
"I don't think it is my place to stop them but it is definitely my place to go and tell someone who has that authority,” said Ellis.
To keep a thief out of your car, hide those bags.