CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The unofficial holiday shopping season kicks off this week and Channel 9 is pinpointing which malls have the most crime in the area.
Shoppers like Kalvin Baskerville are on alert this time of year, but crimes still happen and Eyewitness News knows which local malls had the most last holiday.
Eyewitness News looked up car break-ins for November and December 2011 within a quarter mile of each mall.
SouthPark mall had just five car break-ins, Northlake had
one and Concord Mills had the most, 20.
CMPD officer Craig Allen said before you leave the store with expensive smart phones or tablets, to turn on the GPS function so that you can track it if it gets stolen and keep them hidden.
"Put them in your trunk and maybe even change your location in the parking lot," said officer Allen, "Also think about how long you will be shopping and where you park. It could be sunny when you arrive, but dark when you leave."
Allen said some shoppers are more vulnerable at night.
Baskerville thinks there
are more of those people, those that look like they don't belong, these days.
"With the economy the way it is, people are desperate," said Baskerville.
Pineville police were not able to get Eyewitness News numbers on the Carolina Place mall for this report.
Managers at the Northlake mall said they plan to have a Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department crime watch tower in their parking lot all holiday weekend.
Each of those malls will be open on black Friday, but several major retailers are getting a jump on sales Thursday.
Kmart will open Thanksgiving Day from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then again from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.
-mart and Toys R Us both open at 8 p.m. Thursday .
Target opens one hour later at 9 p.m.