Lexington police notice increase in shoplifting during holiday season
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Many police departments are saying that retail thefts are on the rise.
Lt. Jeremy Tuttle is the Lieutenant of the property crimes section in the Bureau of Investigations. He says they tend to see more thefts in retail stores during the holiday season.
“We always have a slight uptick in thefts, whether that be breaking into cars or shoplifting, people going into businesses and stealing things,” Lt. Tuttle said. “So it is typical that during the holidays, people go in and commit more thefts.”
Many big retailers across the country are seeing the impact as well.
Target sent a statement saying, “along with other retailers, we are experiencing a significant increase in organized retail crime across our business. We’re partnering with law enforcement, legislators, community partners, and retail trade associations to address the growing national problem.”
Lt. Tuttle says the Lexington Police Department partners with their local stores to help prevent these crimes.
“They all have a very good working relationship,” Lt. Tuttle said. “They go over share information, share tactics, see stuff that goes on around the nation and watch for it here as well, so it’s a very good partnership that we have with the stores in our community.”
He says shoplifters tend to bring their own bags into the store, switch tags, or even take pictures of people’s credit cards as they wait in line. Lt. Tuttle says, now, if the property stolen is less than $1,000, it is only a misdemeanor, not a felony.
“They’re just taking what they want or need and walk out the door with it, but if it is over $1,000, it does give the courts the opportunity for a harsher sentence. But whether it does or not is up to the courts,” Lt. Tuttle said.
The CEO of Walmart says the rising thefts in their stores could lead to higher prices and even store closures.
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