While you're out enjoying the holiday shopping season, crooks are plotting how to steal all of that stuff you just bought. Lawmen say thieves view shopping center parking lots as the ultimate opportunity to break into cars and steal gifts. All those shopping bags you pile in your back seat act as bait for robbers. Authorities say awareness is your main tool to avoid becoming a victim in a holiday heist. Keep your eyes open and your purchases tucked away in the trunk. The New Bern Police Department's holiday task force is among those across Eastern Carolina using marked and unmarked patrol cars and officers to patrol shopping sites.