North Greenbush police crack down on large-scale shoplifters

NORTH GREENBUSH — Two North Greenbush police patrol cars sit outside of Ulta in the ShopRite Plaza. It’s a clear message to would-be thieves.

Police say Tuesday, they caught two women who stole more than $3,300 worth of merchandise from the store.

Both are facing felony grand larceny as well as conspiracy charges. Arrested are 22-year-old Faith Batcher-Gardner of Schenectady and an unnamed seventeen-year-old, who has been in trouble before.

“The juvenile was charged with a burglary charge in addition because she had already been arrested once before at Ulta Beauty, and they had given her a no-trespass order,” said North Greenbush Police Chief David Keevern. “That basically means she cannot go into any of the stores, so when she does go into the stores, she’s trespassing. If she commits a crime in that store, she’s now committing a burglary.”

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These brazen crimes are happening all around the area.

In North Greenbush alone, this was the fourth time at the same store in as many days.

Police say this year, more than $48,000 worth of merchandise has been taken off the shelves at this location, leading to 11 arrests.

“Typically you would have for shoplifting one person goes in, steals some things and leaves. Now we have multiple people and they’re not even trying to hide it anymore. They walk in with bags, they just start swiping in. They don’t care who sees it, it doesn’t matter to them because they’re not going to be there for long. They come in, they’re there for a minute, do what they’re doing and they get out,” said Chief Keevern.

Police say Sunday, five people went in and stole more than $17,000.

Monday, a group of women hit the store twice in one day.

Police have ramped up their efforts and seen good results.

“We’re now able to catch them in the act, which is just great evidence, great case and sends the message that just stop. Don’t do it here anymore,” said Keevern.

They are also working with corporate loss prevention, but they say these crimes cost all of us.

“Our insurance rates go up because more insurance claims means our insurance goes up,” said Chief Keevern. “And now the stores prices have to go up, too. So we’re all paying for this. It’s not the victimless crime that some want to make it seem like, oh, it’s just a property crime. Well it is, but it does impact all of us.”