Dover Shoplifting Post Helps Identify Suspect - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Shoplifting Post Helps Identify Suspect

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DOVER, Del.- All it takes is a simple search on the Dover Police Department website and you can find a list of the week's sticky finger criminals. It's an initiative the department launched back in August to fight shoplifting.

"We actually borrowed the idea from another police department out in Texas," said Cpl. Mark Hoffman with Dover Police Department. "They're very innovative when it comes to social media and law enforcement and just happened to see it one day on their Facebook wall and called them and asked what kind of success they've had."

The success is pretty significant. Cpl. Hoffman says shoplifting there went down about 10 percent in the first year the weekly shoplifting website launched. Dover PD hopes it will be a similar story here.

"We hope to one, deter people," said Cpl. Hoffman. "They're not going to want to have their faces out on the public like that. But also to inform the store owners, the merchants and loss prevention officers in these stores so that when they see these people enter their establishments that they're possibility there to steal."

According to the department, they have been receiving a lot of positive feedback about the program since it launched. Now businesses are even printing out the list of shop lifters to help keep an eye out for any possible suspects.

Stores, like Dick's Sporting Goods, have taken advantage of the website. 19-year-old Stephon Rivera is wanted for shoplifting nearly $4,000 worth of Northface brand jackets from the store. Police say an employee from the store recognized Rivera from being on the Dover Police Weekly Shoplifting Post for the week of October 9th-16th. According to police, the employee had printed the post and checked to be certain it was Rivera. When the employee offered to assist Rivera in the store, he quickly declined and continued to roam the store with another suspect. A short time later, both Rivera and the other suspect removed a total of 30 Northface brand jackets and fled into a silver Honda and left the parking lot.

"They're keeping it in their store, they're showing their cashiers, their showing their employees," said Cpl Hoffman. "They're starting to recognize these suspects in their establishments like in this case. Obviously we have warrants for this gentleman and we hope to bring him into custody soon."

Dover Police hope the list will continue to help stores fight back and ultimately cut down on the problem of shoplifting in Dover.

For more information on the department's weekly shoplifting post, visit their website at doverpolice.org.

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