Shoplifters Take Advantage of Holiday Crowds

Local store managers see a rise in shoplifting this holiday season.
CONWAY, AR--Central Arkansas store managers are working to manage, the influx of shoppers and additional shoplifters this holiday season.

To curb holiday crime, Conway police added extra patrols around popular shopping areas this year.

Lt. Bob Berry, a 25 year veteran monitors parking lots and also walks through stores making contact with management and letting customers know he's there.

Lt. Berry and managers say it's easy to spot a shoplifter.

"A lot of people looking up, looking at you to make sure you're not looking at them. People easing toward the door holding items in their hand, people running out not being sneaky at all," says Hibbett Sports manager Mandy Ward.

In Little Rock at Hobby Town USA, the owner installed an elaborate camera system to help catch thieves. He says people will try to steal almost anything but some of their most popular items are flying planes that can cost hundreds of dollars. The owner says shoplifters probably cost him roughly $50 a month during regular shopping seasons. He believes the appearance of cameras help deter criminals.

According to a 2012 survey from the Center for Retail Research companies lost roughly $8.9 billion to theft during the holiday shopping season, and approximately $3.9 billion due to shoplifters.

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