Tis’ the season for thievery

FORT OGLETHORPE, Georgia (WDEF) — This may be the season for giving, but Police in Fort Oglethorpe say it has also been the season for shoplifting.

Wednesday morning, Fort Oglethorpe detectives posted a surveillance photo Facebook of a woman accused of shoplifting from Walmart. Investigators believe she brazenly walked out the front door of Walmart with an entire cart filled with stolen merchandise.

“People will do brazen things like that, they’ll just load a buggy up and walk out and be as nonchalant and unnoticed,” said Fort Oglethorpe Police Sgt. Robert Goolsby.

FOPD has also posted surveillance photos of a group of people who were suspected of committing organized shoplifting. The suspects in that photo have been identified through tips to police. Warrants have been issued for their arrest but they are not yet in custody. Sgt. Goolsby told News 12 that coordinated shoplifting has become a common occurrence.

“Sometimes they will have someone come in and try to distract a clerk while someone else conceals merchandise. They’ll leave out separate doors or come in separate doors.”

The question no is how much profit does Walmart loose this time of year due to shoplifting. A company spokesman issued this statement in response to News 12’s question:

Walmart does not release figures tied to profits or losses and will not share numbers related to shoplifting. This is a wonderful time of year for retailers, and the concerns of theft aren’t unique to one store more than another.

But shoplifting isn’t the only problem this time of year. Police are warning women about leaving their purses unattended in push carts while looking at items on store shelves.

“People will follow you around and they’ll watch for you to leave your buggy for just a minute, and that’s all it takes for them to snatch your purse or snatch your wallet out of your purse and leave with it,” Goolsby said.

And that’s just the beginning of potential problems.

“Within 30 minutes, you can have $300 to $400 rung up on your bank account before you even know it; before you even leave the store,” Goolsby said.

Categories: Crime, Local News

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