The Grinch makes a surprise visit to the Eastland Mall to remind people holiday safety tips

The Grinch makes a surprise visit to the Eastland Mall to remind people holiday safety tips

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Evansville Police officers brought the Grinch to the Eastland Mall Wednesday to remind people to not leave their valuables in their cars while shopping.

Police say they caught the Grinch looking into people's cars in the parking lot and displayed him in a jail cell in the back of the police truck.

This was all part of the department's campaign to encourage people to lock their cars and hide their holiday gifts in the trunk of their car so they can't be seen by eager thieves. Police say if you don't have a trunk, then at least try to cover up or hide items.

Police also say to park in well-lit areas and pay attention to your surroundings as well as take out removable radios and face plates.

Kids and adults stopped to take pictures and high-five the popular Christmas character and officers hope this helps people remember these safety tips.

"It gets people's attention, to where maybe they just wouldn't come up to a police car, we've had a lot of people as soon as we parked that truck they started getting their phones out and their iPods, people are posing with him. So we know its going to get people's attention and while they're doing that it gives us an opportunity to talk to them and give them the information," said Officer Jason Cullum.

For home safety, police say make sure you lock your doors and if you're going to be gone for several days to cancel your mail and postpone the delivery of newspapers or packages. Also have timers on your lights and ask a friend or neighbor you trust to watch your home.

Police also say after opening gifts, its a good idea to break the boxes down before disposal and place them in a bag or container so you don't advertise what you have.

Also to watch for suspicious behavior at your neighbors' homes and record license plate numbers and descriptions of people you don't know in the area.

You can see the Grinch throughout the holiday season, police will have him at various shopping locations throughout the month of December.

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