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Four groups of shoplifters have been seen in Joe Wilcox Indian Den since January, according to owner Pam Freeman.
By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers
________________

Four groups of shoplifters have been seen in Joe Wilcox Indian Den since January, according to owner Pam Freeman.

Freeman said she?s seen one group in the shop often and the other three have only been caught on camera.

 

shoplifting05-4-6.jpg

 
 Mal Cooper/Larson Newspapers  

Shoplifting in Uptown shops is a problem, Sedona Police Detective Lucas Wilcoxson said.

According to Wilcoxson, 75 percent of shoplifters are adults and they are normally only caught once for every 49 times the act occurs.

Sedona Main Street Program Director Holly Epright recently sent e-mails to all program members alerting them to increased theft in the area.

Shoplifting has been an issue for Freeman?s business, so she installed a camera system approximately a year ago.

Eight cameras film the large shop while people in the back keep their eyes on a computer monitor that displays the footage.

Freeman said her husband caught two shoplifters when he just happened to be watching the screen.

One man, according to Freeman, put an entire display of bracelets in a baby stroller. Freeman?s husband confronted the man but didn?t call the police.

Not reporting shoplifting is one mistake made by merchants, Wilcoxson said. Shoplifting should be reported even after the fact if caught on tape.

?The mentality is they?re tourists and you won?t know who they are,? Wilcoxson said, which isn?t true.

If the police are called, Wilcoxson said they may be able to identify the people in the video or at least look for them.

Freeman said that in her large shop she often doesn?t notice something?s gone right away and therefore never used to call police.

Now, Freeman has learned how to record footage from her security cameras so she can look back when something is missing, The tape can then be used as evidence.

?If we do catch someone we?re going to call the police,? Freeman said.

Good customer service is the easiest way to deter shoplifters, Wilcoxson said. If shop employees make eye contact with a person they are less likely to steal because the person thinks the employee now knows them.

Placement of displays is also important, according to Wilcoxson.

?We?ve gone through stores in Uptown just to see how things are displayed,? Wilcoxson said. Often, Wilcoxson found expensive items out in the open and some within a few feet of a shop?s doorway.

The Sedona Police Department will host a shoplifting workshop for merchants Thursday, April 12, at Arroyo Roble Hotel and Creekside Villas, 400 N. Hwy. 89A, Uptown.

Wilcoxson said the workshop will teach merchants what type of behavior to watch for, give them display tips and answer questions.


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