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This year’s holiday season didn’t bring many tidings of good cheer.

According to the Division of Public Safety, December 2011 crime rate saw a 34-percent increase from last year’s.

Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush attributed the majority of the 17 additional crimes to an increase in retail theft.

In 2010, the month of December had four cited retail thefts, while 2011 had 15. “December’s a tough month because of shopping, for some reason in 2010 they weren’t as active with robberies,” Rush said.

Rush added that specific stores proved problematic. American Apparel — located at 37th and Walnut streets — saw three retail thefts in one day the night before New Year’s Eve. Rush said “women were stealing dresses. They clearly were going to a party that night.”

“Certain goods seemed to be sought after, and certain stores provide those goods,” she said. These include body wash from CVS and “hip clothing” in general, which is why she believes women are frequently the culprits of these thefts.

She concluded that theft is “driven by need.”

December 2010 also saw an increase in walking escorts. Rush said the AlliedBarton security officers are trained to identify people walking alone at night and offer them an escort. “The increase in escorts is driven by the customer orientation of our officers,” she said.

Nearly 5,000 people registered themselves on the Penn Guardian Client registration this December as well. The Penn Guardian system allows individuals to register a picture of themselves as well as an emergency contact.

The timer was added this year, a notable reason for the increased registration. The timer is set to protect someone if they’re walking alone by establishing a time frame of when they expect to arrive at their destination. If they don’t arrive within that time frame, DPS will be notified. This timer provides an alternative to a walking escort, but “we would still want you to use people instead of technology,” Rush said.

Despite the rise in crime rates, winter break saw almost no crime. Rush attributed this particularly to the new special check service provided by DPS over the holiday season.

Through this service, students can register their houses online for special checks over the break. Once the houses are registered, DPS performs checks at those locations. If any evidence of break-in appears, DPS will call the owner and emergency contact.

“It’s a great way to make sure your house is safe,” Rush said.

Over winter break, 49 properties were registered with DPS. During the break not one incident occurred.

This article has been updated from a prior version to reflect that there were not 49 robberies over break.

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