James M. Spinney, Chief of Police
2 Olde North Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Chelmsford Police Deparment Implements Holiday Shoplifting Action Plan
CHELMSFORD — Police Chief James Spinney reports that the Chelmsford Police Department, for the second year in a row, is rolling out their Holiday Shopping Action Plan (HSAP) to ensure residents at the town’s shopping centers do not become victims of crime.
“We implemented the HSAP last season to better protect our residents during the holiday shopping season, as we know there is usually an uptick in crime this time of year,” Chief Spinney said. “We will once again increase patrols to monitor some of our most popular shopping areas. Our goal is to always make sure our community has safe and happy holidays.”
Over the next few weeks, the there will be a high-visibility police presence in holiday shopping areas that pose the potential for shoplifting and other crimes. The department is targeting the Chelmsford Mall/Chelmsford Street, East Gate Plaza, Summer Street/Central Square, and the Walmart Plaza/Drum Hill. Other areas may be designated as well.
The purpose is to reduce all types of holiday-related crime, including breaking and entering into motor vehicles, purse snatching, robbery, and traffic and parking related problems. There will be increased uniformed patrol activity in parking lots, and officers will aggressively enforce handicapped and fire lane violations. They will also be on the lookout for suspicious activity.
Residents should not be alarmed by the increased police presence, as officers, who will be assigned to these areas during the day and evening shopping hours, are there solely to help and prevent crime.
Police will use “saturation patrols” to efficiently monitor the areas — meaning multiple units will simultaneously patrol the same shopping center parking lots. The department will also deploy its Automatic License Plate Readers to intercept criminals in stolen motor vehicle and those with warrants or infractions.
Additionally, Chelmsford’s Bureau of Investigative Services (BIS) will deploy to combat crime on all fronts. Along with assisting patrol units, the BIS will help with followup investigations, including interviews and interrogations, photo arrays, evidence collection, and more.
The BIS is also increasing mobile undercover surveillance of shopping center parking lots and patrolling the interior of major retail outlets under cover. Finally, the BIS is researching region-wide crime trends, including information on suspects, suspect vehicles, unique crimes, scams, and/or specific targeting of certain stores or items.
If you see any suspicious activity and would like to report it, bring it to the attention of an officer on patrol or call the Chelmsford Police Department at 978-250-5201.