Operation Santa Patrol: Police using drones to protect shoppers

SALISBURY, N.C. — The Salisbury Police Department is ramping up its efforts to combat holiday season crime through Operation Santa Patrol.

It’s a strategic, crime reduction plan for targeted residential and commercial business areas.

Police Chief Jerry Stokes said officers will increase patrols in major retail areas, the downtown shopping area, and residential neighborhoods to crack down on car break-ins, car thefts, as well as robberies and burglaries that see an uptick this time of year.

“We want to support both our citizens in having a great holiday season when they’re out and about and visiting family, and we want to make sure that our merchants are successful during the holiday season as well,” Stokes said.

In addition to the increased presence, the department will utilize bait and decoy vehicles, foot patrols, and plain-clothes operations as needed.

“Data shows us if an officer can just spend 15 minutes in an area that for upwards of

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