PEORIA, Ill -- As the holiday season progresses the Peoria Police are warning both residents and business owners to be on the look out for robbers. Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard said as a whole robberies are up this year, and that trend will likely increase in the coming weeks.
"This is a season that we do see more robberies and typically as you get closer to Christmas you get more and more armed robberies, strong armed robberies, that sort of thing," said Chief Settingsgaard.
It's not just the holiday season, Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard said from January through November robbery crimes are already up 18% over 2011. Chief Settingsgaard believes there are a lot of factors that go into to crime trends, from the holidays and economy to the weather.
He said, "The weather has been so mild that I think we've not seen as much of a decline as we normally would in the pre-Christmas season."
The Chief said it's hard to know all the forces behind the numbers, "It could just be one active crew sometimes that can really skew your numbers. If you get somebody who's out and commits 10, 12 robberies that changes your numbers enough that you get a pretty significant statistical swing."
He adds two other trends he has seen in recent weeks are a increase in the number of daytime and business robberies.
"This week has been a busy week. We've had several retail businesses robbed, we've had a couple of banks hit."
Chief Settingsgaard urges business owners to invest in a good video surveillance system.
For residents he said stay extra mindful of your surroundings and keep belongings locked up and out of sight as you do your holiday shopping.