BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — As many of us are scrambling to get our last-minute Christmas shopping complete, the Baton Rouge Police Department is making sure you have extra protection.

“Criminal element is everywhere and they are looking for an opportunity to get items in and out as quickly as possible,” said BRPD Public Information Officer Sgt L’Jean McKneely.

Christmas is a time of joy, family, and giving, unfortunately, it also means an increase in crime, according to Baton Rouge Police.

“There is always an uptick in burglaries and theft during the holiday season,” said McKneely.

To curb the crime McKneely said they’re adding extra officers to retail parking lots.

“We have added patrols during the holiday season,” McKneely said. “We may have detectives sitting in parking lots or shopping centers.”

Shopper Joshua Anderson said he has mixed feelings about the increased presence.

“If they are maintaining their distance and being respectful of everyone then, I am fine with it,” Anderson said. “And probably appreciate the security.”

But if you do find yourself in a dangerous situation, McKneely said to surrender your items.

“It’s not worth your life, it’s not worth you being harmed,” McKneely said. “Or the pain and anguish it would cause your family members if you are injured in some type of altercation.”

And McKneely has some tips on how to protect yourself.

‘Try not to carry large amounts of cash on their person,” said McKneely. “Having your keys in your hand, park in highly lit areas, try to shop during daylight hours and not out in the street so late.”