TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - Tybee Island Police are taking a unique approach to proactive policing by initiating the "North Pole Foot Patrol" for the first time ever.
In a Facebook post, the department says they'll have officers out in full force for the holidays in patrol cars, on bikes and on foot. Having a little fun with their social media post, Tybee Police say this is an effort to keep the Grinch and any unwanted elves from causing trouble for any of their residents.
But in all seriousness, police say homes and vehicles tend to be targeted more during the holidays by thieves looking to ruin Christmas by stealing gifts or other valuables.
"Some of the things that are unique to Tybee is we do have a lot of vacation rental properties. But we do also have a lot of folks that leave home, to travel and visit family. And so one of the things that we want to do was be on the lookout for are these vacant houses, whether they be long-term vacancies this time of year, or whether it's just for a week or two. And make sure that those guys are protected just like the rest of our full-time residents," said Lt. Emory Randolph, TIPD.
So to keep a closer eye on homes that might be empty as people visit loved ones, or to deter would-be thieves, Tybee Police will be conducting sporadic patrols all around the island.
"Pretty much wherever you go during the holiday season, there is going to be an increase of car break-ins, residential burglaries, and package thefts, things like that. So what we're hoping to do is to get out in the community to show the public that we are working for them, and to also to deter or catch some of these criminals at the same time," said Lt. Randolph.
The lieutenant did say if you do hear someone around your property to call 911 first, just in case it is in fact one of those holiday patrols checking up on things.