Shaming the shoplifter, boutique owner uses Facebook to find thieves

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A lot of businesses use social media to bring in customers but one Independence County business is also using it to call them out if they decide to shoplift.

As soon as you walk in to Impulse Boutique on Main Street Batesville, you're warned by a sign about surveillance videos.

"They don't think it's true," owner of Impulse, Melody Lopez told Region 8 News. "We have a camera of course here and back there," she gestured around the store.

Since that isn't stopping them, she's hoping a different tactic will stop shoplifters.

"We put so much stuff on Facebook, you would think by now people would know that we have cameras and we will prosecute," Lopez said.

So far, they've identified three shoplifters via the social networking site.

"It took about eight hours, the first one we caught," Lopez said. "It's all about someone else knowing someone else knowing someone else."

Their most recent suspected shoplifter was identified within an hour.

"I just have no tolerance for all."

Or any criminal for that matter.

"About a month ago, we actually had a full out robbery where someone come in, put a knife on one of my workers and pulled the knife," Lopez explained.

In that case, both Lopez and Investigator Jeff Sims with the Independence County Sheriff's Department posted photos from the surveillance video on their Facebook pages. The suspect's brother helped them solve the crime from Hawaii.

"I mean we could put photos in the newspaper or on the news and get things that way," Sims explained. However, he said today's technology brings results quicker and at a higher success rate.

"Oh, it's great! It's really great. It takes care of a lot of things that before, we didn't have that option," he said.

One of Lopez's employees agreed.

"That just goes to show how many people are using Facebook and how popular social networking is," Taylor Lewis said.

Lopez explained that protecting what she's worked hard for...whether it's by shaming the shoplifter on Facebook or utilizing her policy and you don't have to like it.

"I do have a heart, but not for someone who is going to lie and steal. You steal from me, you're gonna tell me you're sorry and talk to me about it," she said.

Lopez said the most common article of clothing stolen from her store is Miss Me jeans. As they run about $100 a pop, she said she'll be adding security tags to the jeans in an effort to stop shoplifters before they are even able leave the store.

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