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Fayetteville Retailers Join Forces to Foil Shoplifters

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FAYETTEVILLE — Merchants in Fayetteville's largest shopping district are banding together in the fight against shoplifters. Security guards say when shoplifters get kicked out of one store, they simply move on to another.

Now the stores are combining forces to target crime. A security specialist for one store decided getting everyone together was the best way to handle the shoplifting problem. He asked the other stores if they agreed and the response was a resounding "yes".

"Electronics are a hot spot. You have a lot of play-station games and the cd players, the Disney movies, and they're real easy to conceal and what we try and do is make sure to keep an eye on them. They're under lock-ups," says George Miller, security specialist at the Skibo Road Target store.

Miller's crew catches an average of three or four shoplifters a day and more on weekends. In an effort to curb the shoplifting boom, Mitchell and security specialists at other Skibo Road stores are combining their efforts.

"If we apprehend someone stealing, what I would do is pass that info on to the other retail stores that I know," says Miller. "[I pass along shoplifters'] names and pictures just in case that individual decides to come in their store."

Target is about to get a big theft deterrent attached to the store. Target has turned an old closet into a police department work station. Officers will use the office to fill out reports and contact witnesses.

"The officers will be stopping by in marked units and usually it's going to be the zone officer that works this particular area and so we're certainly hoping that the marked police car will deter any crimes out in the parking lot area," says Fayetteville Police Captain Bill Simons.

The police work station opens Wednesday, and it won't just help Target. If any of the other stores in that area has trouble there's a good chance a police officer will be nearby.

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John McDonald, Reporter
Doug Bricker, Photographer
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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