HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - Huntersville Police are getting creative to catch crooks who shoplift. Officers often see a spike in larcenies during the busiest shopping season of the year. This year they are working to combat the crime with a new initiative called Operation Fill Santa's Naughty List.
"One of our officers came up with the idea for the operation," said Officer Odette Saglimbeni with the HPD. The effort puts undercover officers in popular shopping areas so they are close by if and when the crimes happen.
"You won't know where they are or which stores they are in but they will identify themselves if you are caught," said Saglimbeni.
Some shoppers tell FOX 46 they support the holiday initiative.
"I think it's a good idea because there are people who shop lift so yeah I like the idea," said one shopper outside a big box retailer.
"We need to get the bad guys out of here so we can all have a nice Christmas," said another shopper.
He sees you when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake and just like Santa these HPD officers will see you when you shoplift.
Ginger Bostian and Travories Montford were among the first two suspects arrested during the operation. Police say the two tried to get away from Dick's Sporting Goods with items they didn't pay for. When they ran out of the store they ran into undercover officers who happened to be outside. Huntersville Police put their names on the naughty list.
Both Bostian and Montford face larceny charges.