By Kelly Ryan

FOLSOM (CBS13) – It’s the time of the year for crowded shopping centers, but it’s also when thieves step up their game.

“I never felt unsafe here that’s why we shop here,” said Danielle, a shopper.

Danielle decided to head out of her town this Black Friday and make a trek to the Palladio at Broadstone shopping complex in Folsom.

“We live in Wilton. We come here to shop because it seems to be nicer than the malls,” she said.

She and other shoppers we spoke with were unaware of an incident here early Friday morning as a woman waited between H&M and Victoria’s Secret for doors to open.

Folsom police say she was reportedly approached by two men in their late teens. One pointed what appeared to be a handgun, and the other suspect stole some personal items. Both escaped.

“You don’t have to live or shop in a bad area in order for something bad to happen,” said Sergeant Sean Hampton with the Sacramento County Sheriffs Department. “Crime is everywhere.”

Hampton says thanks to a county grant his department received for $30,000, the department is able to bolster security and keep shoppers safe with a special patrol.

The “Grinch patrol”, as it’s dubbed, started several years ago in the Arden Arcade area of Sacramento County.

The patrol targets thieves who the department says are on the increase this time of year — aligned with the increase in shoppers.

“They are shopping for items that may be expensive and it creates a more opportunistic in varmint for criminals to seek out people to victimize,” said Hampton.

Police are still looking for the two robbers.