ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) This holiday season not everyone is paying for the items that they leave the store with. They are shoplifters. And as Kris Schuller reports, Ashwaubenon police are very publicly pointing out chronic offenders.
Ashwaubenon is a community with lots of retail stores. But Lt. Brian Amenson says unfortunately, every day his department takes two to five phone calls reporting a retail theft.
“It is a big issue for our retailers and so we treat it as such,” said Amenson.
So Ashwaubenon Public Safety has taken to social media in an effort to combat shoplifting by posting on the department’s Facebook page images of those convicted of a second or more offense of Retail Theft in this community.
“We understand at times it may make the person uncomfortable. But to a point, that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Amenson.
While some may consider shoplifting to be a relatively minor crime, try telling that to the shop owners who deal with the fall out.
“I think sometimes it’s one of those things where you say someone takes something here and there, it’s not that big a deal. But it all that adds up. Not just at one store, but across the board,” said Mike Walters, manager of the Jersey Store.
In fact, the National Retail Federation says shoplifting cost retailers $50 billion in 2016. And Walters supports Ashwaubenon’s decision to put offenders faces online.
“It’s fairly embarrassing to them I’d imagine and I would guess they’d be much less likely to try that again,” Walters said.
“Some people don’t like the fact we’re putting people’s images out there and a lot of people do. Overwhelmingly the response has been very positive,” said the officer. “We want them to think that was a really stupid decision and I don’t want to do that again. Because I’m jeopardizing myself as a person,” Amenseon said.
A tactic aimed to make people think – Facebook postings to stop criminal behavior.
Amenson says the department also uses Facebook to solicit information about crimes on a regular basis.