Store owners on high alert due to shoplifting spike in Kennewick
shop lifting spike
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Retail store owners are on high alert Friday due to the rise in theft over the past several days, and one store owner is taking steps to prevent anymore theft.
“We just thought gosh you just can’t trust anybody,” Threads Resale Boutique store owner Donna Holloway said.
For store owner Holloway, dealing with theft in the past was not easy.
“The people that stole from us actually consigned with us as well and we thought we had that personal relationship with them,” Holloway continued.
Holloway is extra cautious after the recent increase in thefts in Kennewick, and the store owner still remembers how her kindness and friendship was mistaken for vulnerability.
“So it actually hurt our feelings that these people were actually taking from us when you know we thought that they were actually like friends of ours,” Holloway said.
The thieves got away with hundreds of dollars in merchandise and Holloway had no choice but to take action.
“We have a full staff all the time and we constantly walk around the store, we help people in and out of the dressing rooms we count the items,” Holloway continued.
Holloway even added hidden surveillance cameras to prevent thieves from pocketing thousands of dollars, and Kennewick law enforcement officials say she was smart to act quickly.
“It’s helping us in capturing really, really good images that we can later use to identify these suspected thieves,” Kennewick Police Sergeant Randy Maynard said.
Sergeant Maynard says Holloway’s surveillance effort is the only way to truly stop thieves.
Since January Kennewick Police Department received 82 shop lifting reports and one area in particular is becoming a hot spot.
“The Columbia Center area because that’s a high concentration of retail,” Sergeant Maynard added.
Sergeant Maynard says warm weather is sometimes speculated to be a cause of higher crime, but added that it’s more likely due to other socioeconomic factors.
Maynard also reminded store owners that it’s very important not to put themselves in harm’s way just to stop a shop lifter.
As for Holloway she’s continuing to do her best to make sure no one gets past her radar.
“We have to watch every single person,” Holloway concluded.