Shoplifting declines but cops watch for holiday spike

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PEOPLE busted for shoplifting fell by about a quarter, when compared to last year, according to statistics released by ACT police. 

The statistics show that 148 people have been caught for shoplifting so far this year, compared with 196 people last year. 

But, with the year not over yet, it’s not uncommon for a spike in theft to occur as last-minute Christmas shoppers descend on retail centres say police who will be on the lookout for Christmas “grinches”.

It’s possible that a drop in shoplifting has been due to the coronavirus restrictions, however, a police spokesperson has not confirmed the exact cause.

Instead, officer in charge of City Station Insp Adrian Craft says many who are caught shoplifting are often employed in stores and had the means to pay for the stolen items. 

In the lead up to Christmas, Mr Craft says police will be running a targeted operation during the festive season, working with retail operators and security to catch shoplifters who can face 12 month bans as well as criminal charges for theft. 

“Christmas is a time when we tend to see a much needed increase in foot traffic through shopping centres however shoplifters can also use this time to mask their activity,” he says.

“I ask those people to consider how a criminal charge would affect your current and future employment because ACT policing will continue to work closely with businesses and security and intend to apprehend those responsible.”

ACT police provide a free service to local businesses, offering information on how to protect their business from crime. Call the policing business liaison officers at 6256 7777.

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