HOUSTON -

Whether it's a backpack, briefcase or a purse, shoppers are at an increased risk to become a victim of theft during the summer months.

Officers with the Houston Police Department joined retailers with the Greater Houston Loss Prevention Alliance and Crime Stoppers on Tuesday to demonstrate how be proactive against thieves.

Officials spoke at the HEB store on 9828 Blackhawk Boulevard near South Houston.

Police say to watch out for crooks in retail parking lots and shopping plazas in the Houston area. They also tell people to keep bags free of clutter and to only carry essential items. Strapping your bag to shopping carts and carrying them tightly can also help protect them.