Fayetteville police target shoplifters in holiday crackdown
Posted November 26, 2013
Fayetteville, N.C. — Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock said Tuesday that his department is increasing patrols of area shopping centers in an attempt to thwart retail thefts and other crimes this holiday season.
In addition to increased patrols, he told reporters at a news conference, the department has set up a mobile command post along Skibo Road near Cross Creek Mall.
'"We have a strict enforcement policy," he said. "There will be no excuses. There will be no forgiveness during this time."
Since July, he said, there have been 2,000 reports of shoplifting in the area, which serves as Fayetteville's primary retail district.
A contributor to those cases during the holidays, he said, is organized retail crime, in which thieves travel together hitting large retail establishments and then selling stolen goods elsewhere.
That, Medlock said, can directly affect customers.
"It causes the price of things that we all purchase to go up to make up for that theft," he said. "We won't tolerate that."
Matt Gloves, who manages a Cross Creek Mall kiosk called Toyland, says thieves come in crews lurking and scouting.
"It's like their job, technically," Gloves said. "What they're doing for a living is shoplifting. They're stealing."
Shoppers, Medlock said, can help with the crackdown by reporting any suspected cases of shoplifting to authorities.
He also urged them to be aware of their own surrounding and practice common-sense tips to keep from becoming victims.
For example: Don't leave packages or valuables in a vehicle unless they are out of site or secured in the trunk.
Shoppers should always be alert and aware of their surroundings and who is around them, he said.