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LIBERTY, Mo. — Police are stepping up patrols in an attempt to stop thieves in their tracks this holiday season.

Liberty police said there is an increase in both shoplifting and groups of thieves targeting stores along Kansas Street and other retail areas in the community.

It’s hard to say exactly how many shoplifting and theft reports the department has taken this year, according to Liberty Police. Officers said they have responded to at least 80 shoplifting reports at one shopping center alone this year.

The department also said groups of thieves are going into stores, filling up a shopping cart and stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise at a time.

Police will increase patrols in the areas where the crimes are happening.

Police say shoppers can expect to see additional officers in the city’s larger shopping areas through Christmas.

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