With an expected increase in opportunistic crimes such as vehicle burglary and theft during the holiday shopping season, River Forest police on Monday announced a strategy to provide what they hope will be a safer shopping atmosphere for customers, employees and merchants in the Town Center shopping district. The collaborative effort, which began Monday, will include the community, businesses, police, private security and Town Center management.

“The River Forest Crime Prevention Unit will also hold regular meetings with Town Center merchants, security and Town Center management and provide crime tips and crime alerts affecting businesses,” said Deputy Chief Kendra Sullivan.

While a key part of the effort will be increased police patrols in the Town Center and general increased visibility, Sullivan said shoppers can help minimize theft opportunities by making sure their vehicle doors are locked and all packages and property are placed locked trunks, away from open sight.

As always, police urge residents to report any and all suspicious activity immediately by calling 911 or the River Forest Police Department at 708-366-7125.

Crime tips will also be available on the Village of River Forest Web site at www.river-forest.us.

-Bill Dwyer

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