Lee Co. officials crack down on holiday shoplifting - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. officials crack down on holiday shoplifting

Shoplifting numbers are high at the Ledo Road Walmart. (Source: WALB) Shoplifting numbers are high at the Ledo Road Walmart. (Source: WALB)
Sheriff Rachals says deputies respond to calls of shoplifting at the Ledo Road Walmart two to three times a day. (Source: WALB) Sheriff Rachals says deputies respond to calls of shoplifting at the Ledo Road Walmart two to three times a day. (Source: WALB)
Sheriff Reggie Rachals (Source: WALB) Sheriff Reggie Rachals (Source: WALB)
LEE CO., GA (WALB) -

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, the Lee County Sheriff's Office is cracking down on Christmas crooks.

Shoplifting is becoming an increasing problem in Lee County and most of it goes on at the largest store in town. Walmart is a popular spot for holiday shoppers, but its also a popular target for shoplifters.

"On average, two to three times a day that we go to Walmart and pick up shoplifters," Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals said.

So far this year, deputies with the Lee County Sheriff's Office have filed 87 shoplifting reports after responding to the Ledo Road Walmart. In the first full week of December, the office has already filed three, and as the number of days to Christmas dwindle down, Sheriff Rachals expects the shoplifting numbers to grow.

"It's typical of the holidays," he said.

"They're stressed out over the fact that they can't afford the gift, certain gifts they want to get this person and they have to get that gift, no matter what."

The Lee County Sheriff's office is now increasing patrols, hoping their presence will stop a crook from walking out the door without paying and credits Walmart for having a strong security team and loss prevention program.

"The only thing we can actually do is basically patrol through the parking lots of the stores and try to help discourage the shoplifting," Rachals said.

His warning to the crooks? "Don't do it!"

"You may not get caught but somebody does know you did what you did and you got to pay for that one way or another," he said.

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