Charlottetown police are urging people to lock their purchases in the trunk of their vehicle. (CBC)

Charlottetown police are warning that busy parking lots are easy targets over the holidays for thieves breaking into vehicles.

Police say people should be careful to lock their post-Christmas purchases in the trunk of their vehicle, concealing them as they go hunting for bargains.

"We do have a number of individuals that will take advantage of the purchases that are put into the car while you go from one store to the next,” Charlottetown Police Service Cpl. John Flood said.

That's something Troy MacCallum knows all too well.

"Some of my good friends have been hit a lot over the last couple of years actually," he said. "It seems to be more of a rising problem."

It's not just parking lots. Flood said homeowners should be aware that thieves sometimes break into homes that appear to be empty during the holidays.

"They should take precautions to make sure that somebody is checking on the property,” he said. “That the sidewalk, the driveway, everything is cleaned, and that it has a lived-in look."

Three homes in Charlottetown have been robbed since Christmas Day.