Shoplifting offenses remain on the rise in LaGrange in 2018

Published 7:55 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2018

LaGrange has seen a 48 percent increase in reported shoplifting incidents in 2018 as compared to last year, according to a LaGrange Police Department press release. The LPD sent an updated report Tuesday detailing the shoplifting offenses reported in the month of July.

According to the LPD press release, 301 shoplifting offense have been reported this year compared to 203 incidents that were reported in the same timeframe in 2017.

LPD Sgt. William Nelson said there’s no specific reason there’s been an increase in reported shoplifting, but local store owners have increased awareness and are reporting more offenses.

“Talking with some of the local retailers, it’s increased vigilance on their part in detecting and reporting these crimes,” Nelson said. “We’ve actually been told by loss prevention at Walmart that they are going to be even more vigilant, so we should probably expect to see that number from them rise if they continue to detect individuals shoplifting in their store.”

In the month of July, there were 52 reported cases of shoplifting. Nineteen cases were reported at the Walmart on New Franklin Road, six cases were reported at Home Depot on Lafayette Parkway and five were reported at LaGrange Mall on Lafayette Parkway. No other location had five or more.

According to the press release, 29 people were arrested and the total value of items stolen was $6,355.17.

Seven shoplifting cases involved juveniles. Forty-three of the incidents were misdemeanors and nine were felonies.

Shoplifting causes prices to increase in stores. Nelson said if shoppers see someone attempting to shoplift, they should call 911 and report it.

“Ultimately, this costs everybody who shops in these stores money, through increased costs,” Nelson said. “It’s kind of one of those things where we all live here, we all work here, we all buy stuff here and if we are a little more vigilant maybe we can help control costs.”

The LPD is sending out monthly reports on shoplifting to make the public aware on the offenses.

According to the press release, in the month of July, four shoplifting offenses were reported at the Piggly Wiggly on South Greenwood Street. Three offenses were reported at Dollar General on Colquitt Street and Bargain Hunt on Commerce Avenue each. Two offenses were reported at Kroger on Commerce Street.  Single shoplifting offenses were reported at the CVS on Morgan Street, Dollar Tree on Commerce Avenue, Speedy Serve on Whitesville Road, Deals for Dollars on Commerce Avenue, the Shell Station in Commerce Avenue, Daniel Street Food Mart on Daniel Street, Summit Station on North Greenwood Street, Walmart Marketplace on Lafayette Parkway, CVS on Roanoke Road and Circle K on Roanoke Road.