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POLICE have revealed some of the most effective ways in which they curb theft, including the use of dad mobiles outside some of the country’s largest stores.
Theft is a big problem for many retailers, who’ve contacted their local police departments in hopes of acquiring some help.
Officers have revealed some of their tricks for catching thieves, including the use of unmarked police cars.
One of the most popular models is the Toyota “dad mobile” minivan, reports KUOW.
Officers wait in these cars and wait for a text from loss prevention staff from inside the stores.
If staff sees someone leaving the store without paying for something, they message the officer located in the dad mobile, who then intervenes.
“Yup — and he’s green,” said Sgt. Casey Hiam, who works for the police department in Bellevue, Washington.
“All right, we’re green on this guy as he comes out. Going towards Panera!” he recounted after completing a four hour stakeout outside a mall.
“This type of [operation] is like duck-hunting,” he said.
“It’s labor-intensive and time-consuming,” which is why police men only do these stakeouts a couple of times a week.
Shoplifting has been a heavily discussed topic over the past year, with some CEOs of major retailers speaking out about the issue.
“Our team continues to face an unacceptable amount of retail theft and organized retail crime,” said Brain Cornell, the CEO of Target.
“Shrink remains consistent with our expectations but well above the sustainable level where we expect to operate over time, and unfortunately, safety incidents associated with theft are moving in the wrong direction.”
To counter theft, different cities in the country have kickstarted some new initiatives.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams launched a task force to battle theft.
The force is headed by the deputy mayor for public safety Philip Banks III.
“New Yorkers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for higher prices because of theft,” said Adams.
“Employees shouldn’t feel unsafe going to work and businesses shouldn’t have to shutter their doors because of lawless individuals.”
“I will not stand by and let criminals undermine our economy and the livelihood of New Yorkers. We are going to act.”
The city of Los Angeles has also launched a similar task force called Operation Secret Santa.
The force partnered undercover cops and Loss Prevention staff from large retailers.
The city revealed that 11 arrests were made between November 22 and 25th.
“All suspects who were arrested for shoplifting were observed by the retail stores’ Lost Prevention officers who notified the plain clothes police officers in the operation,” said the LAPD.
“The plain clothes officers then notified uniform officers to come in and effect the arrest of the suspects.”