Chesterfield Police ramp up effort to curb retail theft

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CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – A recent spike in shoplifting has some retailers hoping more can be done to address an issue that grows during holiday shopping seasons. Just last week, the Chesterfield Police Department reported more than a dozen shoplifting cases.

More officers are patrolling business districts to reduce thefts. The effort is appreciated at the Chesterfield Antique Mall. Seventy-two vendors help fill the building with walls of merchandise.

“You know everyone works hard for their money, so we don’t want any of it going out the door the wrong way,” said Annie Bauer, a vendor and cashier.

Surveillance cameras are just one tool the antique mall uses to deter shoplifting.

“I think it’s a really serious issue,” she said. “There are problems with it everywhere. We really work to combat that.”

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The Chesterfield Police Department’s Special Enforcement Unit is a key piece of the effort. We reported on their work in 2018. Those efforts continue this holiday season.

“We’ve always been proactive, especially during the holiday season, when it comes to addressing retail theft and the way we do that is by utilizing additional officers from various units to increase police presence throughout our business districts,” Sgt. Robert Powell, Chesterfield Police Department, said.

The department also works with businesses to build partnerships. Bauer said she has the business card of an officer she can contact when needed.

“In many of these investigations, the businesses will contact those officers directly via cell phone, which dramatically impacts the response time,” Powell said.

Police encourage anyone who witnesses shoplifting to avoid intervening but instead note descriptions and license plates With so many surveillance cameras available, a good description can lead to an arrest.

The Chesterfield Police Department and several other area departments also utilize license plate scanning cameras that can help police identify the location of a suspect quickly.

Retail theft has also taken center stage in the nation’s capital this week.


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