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      Thieves don't take the holidays off

      For most people, the holidays are time to spend with family and friends, but for some criminals, this is the time to strike.

      We do tend to see the potential for the increase in theft, burglaries, as well as robberies, said Phyllis Banks the Albany Police Departments PIO.

      APD recommends businesses make frequent deposits during this time of year, to minimize the amount of cash they have on the premise. If you have to make a large deposit, APD recommends giving them a call for an escort.

      Officials say it TMs also important to vary what time you head to the bank, so a criminal can't learn your schedule. The Flint Community Bank offers a similar service to its customers.

      If a consumer does have a large deposit, or they are needing to take money to go purchase a car or something like that, they can come in and someone will escort them out to the car, said Jill Kleckley and VP and Consumer Loan Officer.

      When people head out to do a little holiday shopping, experts recommend carrying a small amount of cash, and using credit cards whenever possible, and be sure to keep track of your purchases and keep an eye on your bank statement.

      They'll (thieves) start doing small amounts,$2-3 dollars at the time, you don't notice $2-3 dollars missing from your account balance, and then all of a sudden $250 dollars, -$300 dollars that's when the hit you hard, said Kleckley.

      If you feel your debit or credit card had been compromised - it's recommended you call your bank immediately and cancel the card.