Police Target Holiday Shoplifters - 8 News NOW

Police Target Holiday Shoplifters

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LAS VEGAS -- As shoppers flood stores for holiday deals, shoplifting is a big concern for retailers who lose thousands of dollars in merchandise every month.

Retail theft increases throughout the holiday season, according to Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson. In addition, Las Vegas happens to be among the top 10 cities that has a problem with organized retail crime.

Shoplifting is a crime that nearly every retailer experiences and it impacts shoppers by causing higher prices.

"There's signs when they walk in the door that they're being monitored, there's cameras everywhere," said Andrew Roles, Fox's Spy Outlet.

Through preventative measures like signs, door chimes and a myriad of security cameras, manager Andrew Roles sees every customer and every potential thief.

"The more obvious that it looks like you're protected, the more likely they are not going to do anything to you," Roles said.

But not all local retailers are as well equipped.

During the holiday season, Wolfson says shoplifting numbers do go up.

"They want to provide gifts or things to family members and if they don't have the money, they feel desperate. They sometimes feel they have no choice, so they steal," he said.

Shoplifting can land a person in a mess of trouble. Any offense less than $650 is a misdemeanor and most offenders end up being cited but not arrested. However, the humiliation is the real punishment for most.

"You're detained. You're held in a local office until the local police arrive," Wolfson said. "You have to appear in court in front of a judge."

Stealing big ticket items will result in a felony charge and being arrested.

"It's really not worth it," Wolfson said.

While stores nationwide lose $30 billion a year to thieves, it's consumers who are the real victims because the losses are passed to them in the form of higher prices.

 

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