Carthage Police Take To Facebook To Shame Area Shoplifters
Carthage Police now post photos of suspected shoplifters on Facebook in an effort to deter crime. The Department started the initiative at the beginning of the month and says shoplifting cases already appear to be down.
Those wanting a five finger discount in Carthage, Missouri may want to think twice before breaking the law. The police department is now posting arrest photos of suspected shoplifters to their Facebook page. And business owners like Keith McBride think it’s a great idea.
“If you’re not aware of somebody or you know, you question them, I can just pull up my Facebook on my phone and I can check out and see,” McBride said.
McBride says he’s had to have people arrested in the past for trying to steal from his store, McBride’s Antiques on Carthage Square. And according to police, he isn’t alone. Shoplifting and theft has increased by a margin of about fifty percent every year since 2011. And the Department hopes posting photos of those caught on Facebook will help curb the problem.
“It’s an effort to deter crime, not humiliate people, but make the public aware, of who are shop lifting suspects are,” said Lt. Josh Cahoon.
And if awareness is the driving force, it seems to be working. Lt. Cahoon says since they started the program at the beginning of the month “likes” for the page have increased. And though some may think it seems harsh for a first time offender the Carthage Police Department says a crime is still a crime.
“They’re taught by their parents that shoplifting is wrong, I don’t think just being a one time offender versus a two or a three is any better,” Lt. Cahoon said.
And at least one Carthage business owner agrees. McBride says he thinks public shaming may not only deter criminals from steal from area businesses, but will let business owners like himself know who to keep an eye out for.
“I probably won’t let them in my business, it’s better to be safe than sorry,” McBride said.
In addition to Facebook posts, the Department has increased patrol. It’s also raised the bond and fine for shoplifting by about $100 dollars.
To see the Carthage Police Department’s Facebook page, click here.