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Season's stress brings spike in crime

Police see economy, not Grinch, at work

December 16, 2009
For some, the holiday season is a time of spiritual reflection and familial camaraderie. For others, it is a stressful time, filled with additional expenses they may not have the means to cover.

For others still, it provides opportunities unseen during the other 11 months of the year — to take advantage of people for their own gain.

While the weeks before Christmas do provide a bounty of recently purchased, often expensive, gifts wrapped up and on display in homes, some local police see an increase in activity as a product of the poor economy rather than a result of the holidays.

"We do have more people in the stores during the holidays and as a result, we take more reports," Sturbridge Detective Mark Saloio said Tuesday of the influx of holiday shoppers.

On Sunday, the Sturbridge police had to deal with an incident at Wal-Mart, in which an employee and another party conspired to steal a high-end television, although Saloio said that particular incident did not necessarily have anything to do with the holidays.

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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