INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The holiday season gives many of us a feeling of unity, but when people can't provide Christmas presents for their families it can lead to desperation. Local pastors, neighbors even police said theft crimes seem to go up as we approach the holiday because people will do what they can to give their families gifts.
Reverend Clyde Posey of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church said in his experience, people willing to commit robberies and burglaries are more likely to do that at Christmas because they cannot bear the thought of missing out. Posey explained as some see people around them with a lot, it's a stark reminder of where they fall short.
"It's the season and what they were in the summer, it's intensified in this season because they don't want to be left out of the holistic, grand narrative of a society that celebrates Christmas," Posey said.
Gerrelian Ragland said he understands a criminal's mentality having been around crime his whole life.
"This time of year, the holidays, the family, people on the commercials they giving the kids all they want, the kids got what they need, they going on vacations," Ragland empathized. "You're stuck here trying to make ends meet, robbing Peter to pay Paul to keep your lights on."
He's a father now, with a job and faith to lean on.
"Even working isn't enough sometimes so it will cause you to think negative things, especially if you don't have a relationship with God, if you don't have faith or believe that God's going to open the door, you will go back to what you know," Ragland said.
Just like many others we've heard from this week, those we spoke with tonight say neighbors must look out for each other, especially during the holidays.
"Always be aware, be aware of your surroundings," Ragland warned. "You don't know who's following you into the store, who's watching you come out of the store. Who's watching you bring your Christmas presents in the house during the day."