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Retailers, officials ready security measures for Black Friday

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(NewsNation) — Both retailers and law enforcement plan to elevate their game this holiday season, attempting to protect their goods from thieves and bad actors.

Last year, 83,000 burglaries occurred during the holiday season for an estimated $131 million in lost revenue. This year, some looters are using smash-and-grab techniques to rob stores across the country.

A video shot in Memphis shows more than 20 people ransacking a store, wiping it clean of about $100,000 of merchandise.

The increase in theft around the holiday season has led some companies, like Walmart, JC Penney and Walgreens, to update their surveillance and others like Target and Barnes & Noble to seal their merchandise behind locked plexiglass.

“The whole idea is to deter the client; is to not even let it happen,” said Captain Jason Daughrity of California’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force. “But in the event it does, in the event that there are bad actors that are adamant about making this happen, we will be initiating investigative resources which are behind-the-scenes not so easily recognizable, but definitely present.”

He also said there will be more officers on the ground this year to try and protect shoppers and business owners.

The Organized Retail Crime Task Force has arrested nearly 700 suspects and recovered around $26 million worth of stolen property.

To reduce the risk of being a victim of a holiday shopping crime, officials suggest always being aware of your surroundings, not leaving packages or flashy jewelry in plain sight, and if a smash-and-grab happens while you’re in the store — don’t intervene. Rather, find a safe space and keep your eyes open to help the police later on.

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