YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Police Department has started extra patrols in the city during the holiday season. Today, we talked to a man who works in the city about the positive impact he says it’s making.

Auto Zone is in the 3300 block of Market Street in Youngstown. Employees say they are already seeing the benefits from extra patrols by the Youngstown Police Department.

“In the area, you got a lot of theft, especially around the holidays. It’s hard times for everybody. Everybody is trying to make ends meet. You can never predict the unpredictable,” said Dennis Nieves, an Auto Zone employee.

Nieves says he has noticed the extra patrols. He thinks it’s a big deterrent for various crimes that typically come up during the holidays.

“Them actually putting stores that are in like a bad area, they’re putting us first. So I think it’s a step in the right motion,” Nieves said.

Youngstown Police Captain Jason Simon says the patrols are conducted in both marked and unmarked units. He says the patrols have been successful.

“We’ve already caught one robber on the first day helping out Liberty Police Department. So it’s at least making an impact there along with, you know, the feeling of safety and security that we’re bringing to the residents,” Simon said.

We’re told the extra patrols not only prevent possible theft or robberies, but they also make shoppers feel a little more comfortable.

“Shoppers have really been pleased to see us around, as is part of the point. They’ve been seeing us more and feeling safer as they’re going about doing their shopping in the city, you know, for large or small things. Whether it’s a quick run or it’s a longer shopping spree,” Simon said.

Simon believes these patrols have lowered the amount of petty theft and robbery crimes within the city for the holiday season.