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Spokane police crack down on holiday shoplifters through strategized enforcement plan

According to Spokane police, shoplifting and other forms of theft can reach overwhelming levels during the holiday season.
Credit: KREM

SPOKANE, Wash. — As the holidays approach, the Spokane Police Department (SPD) has been conducting a series of anti-shoplifting enforcement specials.

This emphasis from SPD is meant to curb rising thefts at malls and stores. According to a press release from SPD, this emphasis is necessary, as shoplifting and other forms of theft can be overwhelming during the holiday season.

SPD monitored holiday shoplifting by adding increased patrols and Neighborhood Resource Officer (NRO)teams, utilizing detectives in an undercover capacity and follow-up investigations. This increased presence serves as a deterrent for would-be thieves.

According to a press release from SPD, the first emphasis took place on Dec. 2. SPD arrested numerous people for charges including third-degree theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and outstanding felony warrants. In one instance, SPD responded to a report of a man filling up a shopping cart and backpack with $250 worth of stolen goods. The man also carried an opened knife blade in what police say was a clear attempt at arming himself in case he was confronted. Detectives were able to get the suspect to drop his knife and took him into custody.

In another shoplifting emphasis on Dec. 16, two people were arrested on felony charges while three were arrested for misdemeanor theft. Another was arrested on a domestic violence warrant.

Spokane police are urging residents to not leave packages in their car, as many thieves are breaking into and stealing vehicles as well. They also urge citizens to not take matters int their own hands and contact police if they spot a theft.

“Get a license plate, take a picture of a car or suspect with your cell phone and ALWAYS report the crime even if you don’t think it will help in the immediate case, it may help police identify prolific thieves and get a read on theft patterns,” SPD said in the press release.