Easton Police Use Facebook To Deter Retail Theft - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Easton Police Use Facebook To Deter Retail Theft

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 EASTON, Md.- With retail theft on the rise in recent months, the Easton Police Department was faced with a question.  How to stop it?  It turns out that Facebook just might be the answer.

You may have already seen posts like this one on Easton Police's Facebook page.  It's a picture of everyone arrested and charged for shoplifting in the past month.  Lieutenant Gregory Wright says the department started the program last month.

"Monthly we compile those mug shots into one format and we post it.  All the information that we provide is public information and is a matter of public record," said Wright.

Everyone on the page has had a press release already generated, and posted to the department's website, so the release of information is nothing new.  But this is a different and more visible way of getting it out there.

Some are concerned doing it in such a visible manner is publicly shaming someone who hasn't been convicted of anything.

"Our intent isn't to publicly shame anyone, our intent is to deter people.  If it deters them because they don't want family to know about it, then so be it," said Wright.

Nina Lanham has owned her business, Lanham Hall Design, for 45 years, and has dealt with the problem of shoplifting on an occasion or two.  She supports the idea

"I'm very pleased, I think it's high time, and it should do a lot of good service to the general public," said Lanham.

Despite some people's public shaming concerns, Nina says she can only see benefit from this.

"I can see some people's concern, however if you put yourself in the position of the retailer or the person who's being stolen from, you might think differently."

Salisbury police and Dover police have been using this tactic to try and stop retail theft in those cities.  Easton police hope it's just as successful here.

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