Store Security is Stopping Holiday Shoplifters - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro--Heather Flanigan Reports

Store Security is Stopping Holiday Shoplifters

December 3, 2003---Posted at 6:03 p.m. CST

Jonesboro--Security tags, cameras and even undercover security associates...you would think that would be enough to deter thieves in Wal-Mart.

Sue Wery is the Assistant Manager at the Wal-Mart on Parker Road in Jonesboro. She says the holidays are busy times for shoplifters, but her store works hard to prevent theft.

"We have quite a bit of surveillance all over the store, and our in-store loss prevention can view pretty much anywhere in the store to see what's going on."

All that security may be impressive, but some folks are still dumb enough to try it.

Wery says, "We catch a lot of people stealing larger items like whole DVD players. If we get really, really busy some of the shoplifters might get bold and actually try to walk out with a entire computer."

Wal-Mart counts on it's associates to help stop shoplifting. Everyone is trained to keep an eye out for thieves.

Cashier Sheila Gambill has been with Wal-Mart for 13 years and has seen it all. She know what to look for.

"If they come with big trash can containers, you take the lid off and look inside. If they have something under their buggy like dog food, lift it up because they could stick cd's or something under it. When big bedspreads come through, stick your hand in there and rub it through and make sure there's nothing in there."

Thieves often keep an eye out for security cameras and employees, but at this Wal-Mart, they might be doing a little five fingered shopping next to someone trained to catch a thief--and not even know it. Wal-Mart has security associates dress and act like shoppers.

Wery said, "They walk around and they know what to look for, as far as maybe how a customers dressed. How they are maybe spending too much time in a particular area...so they keep their eye on that and maybe watch the customer and if they do take something and then they stop them at the front door."

But the eye in the sky is always watching and once you've been busted for shoplifting something even as small as pack of cigarettes...count on that being the last time to shop here, ever.

"If we catch somebody in the store that has been previously arrested at any Wal-mart store or Sam's club, then they run the risk of being arrested for criminal trespassing. What upsets them the most, that they can't come into Wal-Mart anymore," laughed Wery.

Wal-Mart prosecutes all shoplifters. Along with never being able to shop at a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club, shoplifter also face hundreds of dollars in fines and a public record of the incident.

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