Police to help fight mall shoplifting - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Police to help fight mall shoplifting

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July 7, 2006

Albany -- Albany Police say reports of shoplifting at the stores at the Albany Mall are growing. Police Chief James Younger told city commissioners in response he is going to increase the Police Presence at the Mall. Store managers say they welcome the help combating shoplifters.

Sears Store General Manager Brian Flinn says shoplifting is a daily battle. said "It's a big problem. It's part of doing business, and we have to combat everyday."

 Flinn says thieves are a major problem for every retailer, especially at the Mall.  But lately shoplifters have been a bigger problem. Flinn said "they are becoming bolder and bolder on what they are willing to pick up. So we have to be more creative on how we are going to combat that."

Sears have a sophisticated camera system to watch for thieves. But Flinn said many shoplifters now are just grabbing items and running out the door. And they are taking almost any item. Flinn said "bedding,hardware, electronics, clothing, there is really no method to the madness on what they get."

 And Flinn said the value of the items being stolen are higher. Flinn said "You add it up over each day, and in a year's time it adds up to a lot of money." And that cost gets passed on to you and all other customers, through higher prices to pay for those stolen goods.

Flinn said he welcomes news of an increased Police Presence promised by the Chief. Flinn said "I love it. I like to be able to tell our customers that they can feel safe coming to the Mall. That the Police are here to help us."

Sears says shoplifters keep coming up with new ideas, so they have to adapt everyday in their fight against thieves, and they welcome all help in that battle.

 Albany Police could not provide any figures on how much shoplifting has increased at the Mall.

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