PORTLAND Police are warning anyone headed downtown for holiday shopping this weekend to be on the lookout for thieves.

The Portland Police Bureau is putting extra officers on the street to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior. But police are also asking people to shop smarter.

Keep your shopping bags close to you, especially on the MAX or other public transportation, said Sgt Ty Engstrom.

He also recommended anyone carrying a purse use a cross-body purse, which is harder to steal than one that just hangs off the shoulder.

He said most importantly be aware of your surroundings at all times and stay off of your cell phone while you re walking.

People will be walking around, holding their phones out, maybe they're looking for directions, maybe they're texting or doing something like that. We have a lot of thefts where people just come up behind them and grab that phone and take off running, Engstrom said.

He said the bottom line is: Keep your eyes up and stay alert.

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