Joplin Police working to decrease shoplifting
While most shoppers are searching for the best sale, some are blending in with crowd and getting away without paying for their items. In the past 30 days, more than 50 shoplifting incidents have been reported to the Joplin police. Local law enforcement is looking for ways to help reduce those numbers going forward.
“It’s a crime where people think it really doesn’t have a victim, but it does,” says Corporal Josh Hanes.
The crime is responsible for most of the money lost by local businesses, but it isn’t due to lack of security.
“Most of the companies have very good security systems, especially the bigger ones. It’s just people think they can get away with it and sometimes they may but a vast majority of times they get caught,” continues Hanes with the Joplin Police Department
Police say most shoplifters don’t need what they steal, but want it. Often times, they are repeat offenders. On a second shoplifting conviction, felony charges can be filed.
The theft doesn’t just affect the store, but the paying customers as well. Merchandise prices go up as stores have to hire more employees or install a different security system.
Since implementing the Crime Free Business Program, robberies have been down 45 percent. The program gives retailers strategies that are proven to reduce shoplifting such as greeting customers at the door so that they know you’ve seen their face, removing blind spots, and walking the store.
“This is all taking up resources that can be better spent on something else but because there are so many shoplifters, you can’t just turn a blind eye to it. That’s one of our main deals, is trying to curb this,” says Corporal Hanes.
Retailers interested in becoming a crime free business can contact the Joplin Police Department.