Store Owners Watchful for Holiday Shoplifters - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Store Owners Watchful for Holiday Shoplifters

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SALISBURY, Md. - The holiday shopping season also brings with it holiday shoplifters.  In Salisbury, police and store owners are on the lookout for those looking for a five finger discount.

At Vernon Powell in Salisbury, store officials say they have noticed the increase in shoplifting this holiday season.

"People get stressed during this time of year, so there's more bank robberies and more thefts at retail.  So, yes, it is always a challenge but more so this time of year," said Phil Wright, Vernon Powell CEO.

Store officials said generally athletic shoes and apparel are the targets of thieves.  Salisbury Police have been trying to combat the shoplifting issue in the city all year long.  One measure they have been using is publicizing the shoplifting arrests of each week.  Last week in Salisbury, 12 people were arrested for the crime.  Police officials also say that this holiday season, more patrols will be out on the streets and visiting businesses.

"They come by and it is nice to see them.  And it makes us aware too.  And it's all about repetition to keep it on the forefront of our mind and our staff's minds," said Wright.

However, the increased effort will not totally stop the problem, particularly during the holiday season.  Nancy Benjamin owns "Benjamin Wear it Again" upscale resale boutique and said her store runs into the same problem as the big retailers.

"What we typically find is the tickets and when we check our inventory, we see that the item was still available and not sold and the item is gone.  So, I've seen a handful in the last few weeks since Black Friday," said Benjamin.

Benjamin added that her employees must be proactive against any potential criminals.

"We're physically on the floor, watching them making suggestions and in that way, we try very hard to maintain contact with them so we're watching what they're looking at and what they're trying on."

Business owners and the Salisbury Police are out to ensure that any shoplifters do not have a happy holiday season.

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