Gardens mall beefing up security as busy holiday shopping season approaches

Posted at 11:48 PM, Nov 21, 2016

The bird's not even in the oven yet, but there's one thing on everyone's mind - holiday shopping.

“We kinda go to different stores and look at what everyone wants to get for the holidays,” says Brieanne Helm.
Helm is playing Santa not only for her family, but also for herself. 

“I just got a new puppy and she ate all my shoes!” she says.
But for every Santa, there's a Grinch waiting in the wings - ready to ruin the festivities by stealing your stuff. 
Michelle Jacobs with the Gardens Mall has a warning for those folks. 
“We have unbelievable security technology, so don't come here, it's not worth it,” she says.
Jacobs says they've already ramped up holiday security at the mall. 
It starts with beefing up personnel - with security patrolling each parking lot outside, and foot patrols walking the mall inside. 
However, it's what you can't see - namely their upgraded surveillance system - that gives them the leg up on potential thieves.  
“It's very high tech,” she says. “We can track every single license plate that comes in and out of the shopping center so if something happens, we can provide that footage very quickly.” 
As a victim of a robbery herself, Brieanne knows the importance of mall safety during the holidays. 
“Always be aware of your surroundings,” she warns. “Get all your shopping done at one time then drop all your stuff at home, and then I go to a different store in a different area.”
But as Candice King reminds us, there's always the alternative when it comes to holiday shopping. 
“I do it online,” she says. “I have two little kids, and I need to make use of my time efficiently.”