Fighting Back Against Shoplifting in Salisbury - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fighting Back Against Shoplifting in Salisbury

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. - By publicizing the names and faces of those arrested for shoplifting in the city, the Salisbury Police Department is hoping to cut down on the crime.  And police officials say two months into the plan, it may be starting to pay off.

Dealing with shoplifters is something almost every store will have to go through.  Steve Kottman is the general manager at Crazy Louie's Pawn Shop and said after dealing with the shoplifters for so long, he knows what to look for.

"You get used to the games they play," he said. "A lot of times it is more than one person.  A lot of times one person is a distraction trying to get your attention away from what the other person is doing.  A lot of times there's places, you can look on the TV, where all the sudden a pack of people will come in and they'll all just scatter in five different directions."

The police department has been trying to cut down on shoplifting incidents in the city.  After two months of publicizing those arrested for the crime, police say they have seen a drop in the arrests over the last couple weeks.  Police say it is a difficult crime to stay on top of because people can be motivated to shoplift for various reasons.

"Through our investigations, we have found that people will steal products and resell it.  They will steal it because they don't have the means to purchase the item themselves.  We've had people who've committed thefts for addiction reasons," said Capt. Scott Kolb of the SPD.

The department has also formed a retail alliance with the local businesses.

"We have meetings to share crime trends, techniques and to identify offenders," Kolb said. "If they are going to one store, there is a chance they're going to others. We've found in the past they may be committing the theft at one larger store and also going to some of the smaller stores or the larger stores and committing the same type of theft."

Three weeks ago, SPD arrested 10 people for shoplifting in Salisbury.  Two weeks ago, that number was down to five. This past week, from July 23-29, only four people were arrested in the city for shoplifting.

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