South GA stores prepare for increase in shoplifting

South GA stores prepare for increase in shoplifting
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Law enforcement officials across the nation say traditionally, crime increases around the Christmas holidays, including shoplifting.

Albany store managers agree.

One longtime store manager in Albany said shoplifting is something all stores prepare for during the holidays.

Ross is a popular shopping destination for thousands of South Georgians leading up to Christmas.

But store managers said that unfortunately some people, intent on stealing, will also come into their business next month.

"From a shoplifting standpoint, it seems to increase at this time," said Ross Store Manager Joe Iles.

For 38 years, Iles has managed several large department stores.  He said shoplifting seems to be becoming more of a crime problem for the retail industry.

"Seems to be increasing everyday," said Iles. "It's not just relative to one particular season, it seems to be on the increase throughout the whole, entire year."

Iles said he can't speculate on why shoplifters steal, and there seems to be no particular merchandise that is targeted.

"There is no one particular item. It seems like sometimes it may be clothing," said Iles. "Other times it may be shoes. Other times it may be just housewares or various items."

Iles said that each retail company has it's own plan to combat shoplifting.

Most spend big money for surveillance cameras and sensors to protect their investment of the stock they have purchased. But Iles said most companies know there is going to be shoplifting and products lost.

So, they have to build those losses into their business plan.  A crime problem that stores expect to increase as Christmas approaches.

Iles said he doesn't want customers to be concerned about shoplifting. He urges South Georgians to guard against crooks breaking into their cars to steal the gifts they have bought.

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