Local businesses are working to prevent shoplifting incidents

People may not see them, but shoplifters are waiting to make their next move

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Grocery stores in our area are seeing an uptick in shoplifting.

People may not see them, but shoplifters are waiting to make their next move.

Over at Sunflower Food Store on Alabama Street in Columbus; store manager Kendrix Morris said theft is becoming a re-occurring issue for grocery markets in the community. Morris and his team are taking steps to prevent another incident from happening–like running video surveillance.

“When someone shop lifts we are notified and we go straight to our camera system where we can pull them up and we can pull up to nine, to 12, to 24 cameras at one time and we can actually watch the shoplifter go throughout the store,” said Morris.

Sunflower Food Store has 70 cameras installed; they’re operating 24 hours per day, and parking lot footage is also being recorded.

Morris said his staff is trained on how to watch for suspicious activity in the building.

“They normally go to a different aisle or a different department and try to conceal it,” said Morris.

If someone leaves the store, a law enforcement agency will be call to the scene quickly.

“That’s where they lose time and give us time to try to get everything in line as for getting the officers here and for us to stop them at the door,” said Morris.

While some motives are unclear for theft, Morris said some folks are in desperate need to put a hot meal on their table.

“They don’t have to do that. We have plenty of resources to help families with eating. We help donate to salvation army, red cross and local churches,” said Morris.

He encouraged stores without video surveillance to train their staff with a safety plan for dealing with a shoplifter.

If any suspicious activity takes place in a store, people are encouraged to call their  local law enforcement office.

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