“It’s straight out of their wallet”
SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – While many believe that shoplifting is a victimless crime, theft can have a big impact, especially when it comes to local businesses.
“They came one by one to entertain our employees,” said Andrea Johnson, of ENVY My Closet, a clothing store in Sioux City.
Armed with empty bags and a goal to collect items, the ENVY My Closet team quickly realized that shoplifters were attempting to rob the store last Saturday.
“Our employees got together and called people out and basically stopped them from stealing anything they wanted to steal,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the owners of the store are grateful to their loyal employees.
“We have fantastic employees. They really understand that this is a direct hit to the store. If there are too many, they won’t have jobs anymore. So they really consider everything in this store to be their own. Johnson said.
When it comes to small businesses like ENVY, shoplifters can be damaging.
“We don’t have a corporate umbrella we’re under. So anything stolen here is a direct hit to the owners. It’s right in their wallet. Just like someone walks in and out. $ 50 from their wallet, if you come and steal a $ 50 item, it’s the same. Too much is happening and the store can’t stay open anymore, “Johnson said.
And when owners or the police struggle to identify potential suspects in security footage, Johnson says the community is often behind them and ready to help via social media.
“It’s wonderful to see the messages and the support people give us. To understand how damaging thieves are to our business,” Johnson said.
Sioux City Police Department officials said they saw 40 to 60 reports of shoplifting in any given month.
Sergeant Jeremy McClure said these usually result in a criminal charge. He said prevention is the key.
If someone walks into a business and acts suspiciously, Sgt. McClure tells employees that customer service is a good prevention tool.
“Approach them, ask them how they are doing, if there is anything you can do to help them. And tell them that you are watching them and that you see them. A lot of them want to. work in anonymity. They “look for places in your store that aren’t covered by cameras or that aren’t easily visible,” McClure said.
McClure added that it’s important for parents to talk to their children about shoplifting. He said they often caught teenagers stealing.
“What we often see with shoplifting is that it’s a lot of nonessential stuff. It’s stuff that they don’t necessarily need to survive. They steal clothes they don’t have to. they don’t need it. Or they steal other items that they don’t necessarily need. So it’s not a matter of survival in most of the cases that we come across. from someone stealing something they didn’t want to buy, ”McClure said.
McClure added that store cameras help track a thief, but they don’t always prevent crime.