“If we catch anyone shoplifting, we call the police. Always. We have zero tolerance for shoplifters,” said Steve Rice, manager of Dillard’s at the Westgate Mall. “We see so much shoplifting, across the board, all ages. It’s a real problem.” Cpl. Lisa Cherry of the Amarillo police Crime Prevention Unit says when store personnel apprehend a teen for suspected shoplifting, the store detains the teen and calls police. Police take the suspect into custody. The police run a check to see what the offender’s status is with the department and evaluates the cost of the merchandise. The suspect may be sent to the juvenile authorities or released to parents. Juvenile offenders face stiff penalties of fines, detention, community service and even jail time. Shoplifting is a major thorn in the side of local retailers, and nationwide, juvenile shoplifters account for $2.8 billion losses annually According to a National Retail Federation study, teens account for 30 percent of shoplifters, yet make up only 7 percent of the U.S. population. Many teen-agers look upon shoplifting as a harmless, victimless act that stores can afford. Shoplifting affects more than the store and the offender, it overburdens the police and law enforcement staff, and adds to consumer cost. Westgate Mall holds seminars for its merchants with mock shoplifting demonstrations by area police. “The most recent one was in April with 68 percent of the mall merchants participating. We had videos of shoplifters in action and talks by area police on how the shoplifter operates and what the merchant can do to spot them,” said Amy Frow, assistant marketing director of Westgate Mall. prices go up in every store and you end up paying for what was stolen, parents friends ect all pay. store have to up their prices beacuse they have to pay for all the theft, pay for more security, pay employees wages, ect. the community suffers …
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