Stores remain vigilant during potential holiday shoplifting - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Stores remain vigilant during potential holiday shoplifting

GPD says they see an increase in shoplifting around the holidays. (Photo source: WLOX News) GPD says they see an increase in shoplifting around the holidays. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Store managers say that while they sometimes have to confront potential shoplifters, it's nothing they prepare for. (Photo source: WLOX News) Store managers say that while they sometimes have to confront potential shoplifters, it's nothing they prepare for. (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Shoplifting is an issue that happens year round, but according to Gulfport police, it’s a crime that increases significantly around the holidays.

For almost nine years, Panache Apparel and Accessories has been in business in Gulfport. One thing employees say they prize more than their merchandise: their customers. 

“I love my job,” manager Table Vogle said. “I genuinely do and I love to have great customer service and show our customers that we really care about them.” 

But what Vogle, who's managed the store for three years, finds the most difficult and uncomfortable, are the costumers who shoplift. And as the holidays get closer, Vogle says it happens more often.

“We do have cameras and we do have a big system in the back. So if we feel that someone is shoplifting we can go back there and watch it. You know, discretely,” Vogle said.

The owner of The Radish Loft, Meghan Butterfield, agrees. 

“Having to walk up to someone and say, 'Can I look in your purse? Are you going to pay for that?', I mean it's not anything you can prepare for but it has to be done,” Butterfield.

Sgt. Damon McDaniel with the Gulfport Police Department says because shoplifting is a problem that increases during the holidays, he encourages store owners and employees to be proactive when it comes to protecting what's inside their stores.
One way store owners are doing that is through social media. 

“Social media is awesome. It really helps us,” Vogle said.

Police also encourage shoppers and store employees to avoid confrontation. They say this way, everyone avoids getting hurt and making the situation worse.

“I feel very fortunate that we do have that communication and we can rely on each other and help each other because again, we're all in the same boat and we all have the same mission,” Butterfield said.

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