Police aim to tame holiday madness at shopping plazas

By Robert Frank

Laval police will be stepping up their presence at shopping centres, as the Christmas season approaches.

“We call it Opération Temps des Fêtes,” Const. Nathalie Lorrain told The Suburban. “More police officers and vehicles will be patrolling malls and the areas surrounding them because of the increased flow of people.”

“There is usually a lot of congestion on the road at this time of year, leading to more accidents,” she explained, “and people try to cut into lanes.”

“Two cars will be patrolling this week, but that number will increase with each passing week, particularly if we observe the need for more police presence.”

Peace officers will also be on the lookout for vehicles illegally parked in fire lanes or in parking spots reserved for the disabled.

“Thefts also tend to increase at this time of year,” Const. Lorrain warned.

“Shoppers’ hands are full, so they leave merchandise in their vehicle and return to the mall.”

“Thieves know that people often leave valuables in their car.”

Among the malls enjoying heightened police scrutiny are Carrefour Laval, Centropolis, Centre Laval and Galéries Laval, as well as shopping centres in Sainte Dorothée and Duvernay.

Armed robbery

In other police news, Const. Lorrain said that a six-foot tall man brandished a knife after entering a dépanneur on Sainte Rose Blvd. at 2:40 a.m., Nov. 30.

“He stole around $350 from the cash register,” said the Laval police spokeswoman. “He placed the money in a knapsack and fled on foot along Renaissance Blvd.”

“The suspect wore a dark coat, blue jeans and a winter toque,” she added, urging anyone who saw anything connected to the robbery to contact police.

The dépanneur cashier was not wounded, but suffered afterward from shock.

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