POSTED: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 6:40pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 6:50pm
EL PASO — Americans shoplift an estimated nine billion dollars of merchandise during a holiday shopping season. Store employees take almost five billion. Shoplifters can call it what they like...a victimless crime, a five-finger discount, but by any name it's theft. and to walk through Bassett Place, you quickly get the idea that the mall and all of its stores are ready to strike back.
Security officer Jesus Torres tells us, "Technology has improved a lot over the last couple of years, so much that the camera can pick up every little thing, and it helps us out by seeing a lot more people...and it helps to have a person in the camera room, where you can actually see on the camera who the person is"
We visited Hollywood and Vine, a locally owned store in Bassett Place, which offers a nice variety of gifts, including many small articles that shoplifters think are easy to hide. Tired of being taken by theives. the store has increased its number of surveillance cameras, and once its knows there's video evidence..the manager tries a polite approach..
"Instead of walking up and saying 'I know you took it', just asking them do you want to pay for anything, we have the cash register up here, can we help you, are you looking for anything in particular?"
If the shoplifter can't take a hint, and still walks out with the goods, a quick call to security is usually enough to straighten things out.
Hollywood and Vine tells unbelievable stories, about parents who use their children as decoys to shoplift, and groups of kids who run coordinated scams inside the store to steal what they want. The bad news for them..is that the story ends badly. maybe not the first or second time they shoplift...but eventually.. and handcuffs..and in tears...
Torres reminds everyone, "Just know that we are not going to drop any charges..All of these stores by their policy, have to prosecute to the fullest"