Coeur d'Alene shoppers lock up purses to reduce shoplifting



Posted on May 27, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 27 at 8:12 PM

Would you lock up your purse if a store asked you to?

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho--A used clothing store in Coeur d’Alene began checking customers' bags and purses into lockers to prevent shoplifting from happening at the store.

Beau Monde resells designer clothes. The owner, Brooke Miller, said her shop was a prime target for crooks. Miller said her employees began to check customers' bags and purses into lockers because security cameras and tags were not enough to stop shoplifters.

"I was just getting mad. I was like, ‘why are we just allowing people to do this?’” said Miller.

Miller said her new system had been working. Miller said she had lost thousands of dollars to shoplifters in the 13 years that she owned Beau Monde.

Miller said crooks were able to get around security cameras and security tags on clothing. She said the crooks would walk out of her shop with hundreds of dollars in designer clothing. Miller said police told her that they were only able to do so much.

Miller said she decided to experiment with lockers. She asked customers to lock up their purses and carry a key around with them. She said customers were not allowed to bring in their bags if they did not agree to lock them up. 

"We do have some people that feel it's offensive,” said Miller.

Miller said some customers did enjoy the added security. Miller said despite the critics, she was no longer losing hundreds of dollars in merchandise each week.

"Unfortunately, I think we may lose a few customers over it. But overall I think that all theft prevention and the less awkwardness of our employees having to go and ask for people's purses has helped immensely,” said Miller.

Miller said she had heard of some stores in larger cities trying the method. She said she hoped it would catch on and become more popular in Coeur d’Alene.