Moline Police Capture 40 In Weeklong Shop Lifting Sting - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Moline Police Capture 40 In Weeklong Shop Lifting Sting

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Sending a strong message to shoplifters, Moline police coordinate a major crackdown leading to dozens of arrests.

The department knows it has a problem with shoplifting. Detective Scott Williams says it's out of control along John Deere road.

"We've had shoplifting problems for years, but just in the last three, four years we've seen an amazing spike in the amount of shoplifting," says Williams.

Police haven't been able to focus on the crime, leaving stores to fend for themselves.

"It is a huge problem. It's an unbelievable problem. There are so many retail thefts. We really don't have the manpower to deal with it, that's why we had to set up this special targeted weeklong and team up with loss prevention to maximize our efforts," says Williams.

The last full year of data is from 2012, that year Moline police recorded 1,300 property crimes. Of that 81 percent were thefts.

"We're down to taking a lot of reports. The police department got with the corporate entities in all the loss prevention specialists and kinda got with a scheme where they would target all the thefts in a week long period and that's exactly what we did," says Williams.

Police officers teamed up with store security. The police watched the cameras, while the store staff got out into the aisles.

"The loss prevention people were kind of freed up to actually go up into the store and be right next to people as they committed their retail theft, sometimes within 5-10 feet, so we had them on camera, we had two sets of eyes watching them, it's kind of like shooting fish in the barrel," says Williams.

Police caught 40 people during the five day sting. 18 people face misdemeanors, five more face felonies.

"A dent, yes, a small dent, but also a sense that we're out there and if you're going to come to Moline to rip off retail businesses that we're going to be out there to try and catch you," says Williams.

Additional shoplifting details will be scheduled as staffing is available.

Police estimate at least one million dollars worth of merchandise is stolen from Moline stores each year.


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