Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The holiday season is well underway and that means more shoppers on a mission.
Stores have already seen an increase in traffic, but also an increase in shoplifting.
Longer lines means more distractions for employees.
The mall has cameras placed in every hallway.
They also hire more security officers during the holiday season.
But each individual store say they take it upon themselves to keep the shoppers honest.
"That problem increased since Black Friday. People just trying to walk off with helicopters, spatulas whatever, while distracting one of us," said kiosk employee Marquies Orr.
Distraction is a popular method use by shoplifters, but even at a Kiosk they rarely get away with it.
Orr says he's got nearby stores watching the kiosk when he's busy with customers.
They've helped him a few times since Black Friday to keep people from running off with merchandise.
"They don't think someone is on the other side of the store watching them as they're creating mischief," said Orr.
Shoppers never know who's eyes are on them.
"You don't know that they're security they just look like a regular shopper, but their duty is to keep and eye on people, so that's what we do," said Wayne Evans of All About Collectibles.
The store is equipped with undercover employees and hidden security cameras just in case the obvious deterrents aren't enough.
"If we decide to prosecute them rather than just get the item, we have it on camera and that's pretty much a slam-dunk," said Evans.
"Once they leave I call security and give them the description and they handle the problem from there," said Orr.
A more stressful time of the year for employees, and shoppers.
"Well there's a lot of pressure on people to buy gifts for their kids, and I think that people get desperate sometimes and they might try things, you know maybe a little more so than other times of the year," said Evans.
Employees say they're always sharing tips on how to spot a shoplifter with each other.
Such as keeping an eye on shoppers with large bags and shopping carts.
Evans says the smaller items are usually the ones to keep a closer eye on.
Neighboring stores help keep an eye on each other every day of the year.