Saturday, October 25, 2014

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St. George store owners launch shoplifting counterattack - Jul. 30, 2014

Barb Rayner
St. George
Store owners in St. George are joining forces to deal with shoplifters and anyone caught stealing from their businesses will be banned from the premises.
The idea for “Band together against theft” comes from Greg Hooper, owner of Uncle Mayn’s Convenience and liquor agency store on Main Street, who said he is sick and tired of people stealing from his store.
“I am asking all store owners to band together to keep thieves out of their stores. My idea is that, if a thief steals from one store, they will be banned from all other participating stores.
“We will send them a no trespassing letter with all the stores’ names attached. We will collect $25 to $50 from each store to put towards advertising in our stores of the program.”
Posters will read, “If you steal from this store, you will be banned from all stores listed below”.
To date, a number of stores in the area have opted to be part of the program. They are Uncle Mayn’s Convenience, Boyd Bros Home Hardware, Hooper’s Convenience, Pharmachoice, Keith’s Building Supplies, St. George Save Easy, A.J’s Convenience and Pennfield Irving and Hooper said there are other stores which he believes will also shortly be on side with the program.
“I took a letter around to all the store owners to band together against theft and to keep thieves out of our stores. If they steal from one store, they will steal from others. We have banned two people here already.”
Hooper also goes one step further and is posting the names of those who are banned from his store on the wall by the cash register for all to see.
“I had one girl walk in the other day and just start putting stuff in her purse. We were out to supper in Saint Andrews and I was watching her on my phone. She looked all around and knelt right down.
“I called the store and the girls went out and got her licence number. I found out who she was and I called her up and asked if she had anything to tell me. She said ‘no’ and I said, ‘maybe you can tell the RCMP.’
“She said she never took anything and I said I am watching a tape of you filling your purse with vodka coolers. I told her I was going to post it all over Facebook and post her name in my store.”
Hooper, who has 38 surveillance cameras in the store, said he has also spoken to the woman’s boss and advised her to get the money to him and not to ever come back into his store again. He said he plans to charge her and will post her name in the store to publicly humiliate her.
“I have one name up right now and I will put hers up as well. I don’t want them on my property. I figure I work hard for what I’ve got and I don’t expect someone to steal it.”
While shoplifting is not a huge problem at his store, Hooper said he has been thinking about doing something like this for some time and feels all store owners should band together and take a stance on theft because he does not feel the court system does anything.
“What gives a person the right to walk in my store, take something and not pay for it? If it does not belong to you, you should not take it.”

barb@stcroixcourier.ca