Posted at: 11/27/2013 9:34 AM
| Updated at: 11/27/2013 5:30 PM
By: Dan Bazile
EAST GREENBUSH - It's a constant battle with retailers and shoplifters, especially the professional thief, according to retail experts. It costs you, the legitimate consumer, a lot of money. The retail industry said no store wants to make it feel like you're walking into a jail cell and being followed. That would be an uncomfortable experience. Instead, there are cameras, security guards keeping an eye out and lots of anti-theft devices. But the professional shoplifter knows it.
"It's one of those situations where once they figured out the latest stunts, the latest techniques, the latest trick, the bad guys have come up with something new," said Ted Potrikus from the Retail Council of New York State.
Police said the security techniques worked at Walmart in East Greenbush when three women were arrested after they were seen walking away with nearly $5,000 worth of goods.
"They were observed by Walmart personnel working overnight loading up the cart. And once they pushed it passed the point of sale, they called the police," said East Greenbush Police Detective Sgt. Matt Breig.
Police say Charnell Wardlow, Traci Johnson and Ellen Lockwood, all of them in their 40's from the Bronx, had a two year-old child with them when they stole several televisions, computers, and other small kitchen appliances.
Police also arrested Tammy Samuels, 52, of Schenectady. She's accused of stealing more than $1,200 worth of merchandise at Kohl's Department Store in Clifton Park.
Potrikus said all this theft equals to ten of billions of dollars in losses across the country every year. But it's not just the retail industry that's losing out.
"But it costs us honest shoppers more because we have to pay more for those assets protection departments. We have to pay more to pay for the lost merchandise," Potrikus said.
As you do your shopping this holiday season, officials say just be aware you're target for thieves as well. They're urging people to just keep your car doors locked, don't leave your stuff out in the open and be vigilant in large crowds.