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Security forces report decline in shoplifting during third quarter

By Robert Goetz | Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs | Nov. 29, 2012

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — The number of shoplifters apprehended at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph plunged to a two-year low in the third quarter of 2012, a decline attributed to a shoplifting prevention campaign implemented this spring by the 902nd Security Forces Squadron.

The four shoplifters apprehended from July-September offered a sharp contrast to the first quarter, when 16 apprehensions were documented, and the third quarter of 2011, when 15 shoplifters were caught.

"Our shoplifting prevention campaign has been a success so far," Staff Sgt. Eric Simmons, 902nd SFS police services NCO in charge, said. "There's more awareness out there now."

The 902nd SFS began the campaign not long after shoplifting apprehensions spiked in this year's first quarter, more than doubling the number in the first three months of 2011. The first steps taken included an increase in random patrols at the Exchange, where most shoplifting at Randolph takes place, and the circulation of fliers that display the shoplifting rate in each quarter since the beginning of 2011 and a message to potential shoplifters that they "are being watched."

The campaign will soon include the placement of 10 life-sized cut-out posters and eight smaller wall posters in areas of the Exchange prone to shoplifting, including the power zone and clothing and cosmetics sections. The life-sized posters will show staged apprehensions with slogans designed to deter shoplifters, such as "Shoplifting Can Be Very Embarrassing."

The decline in shoplifting activity has carried over to the fourth quarter of this year, with only four apprehensions recorded since the beginning of October, he said.

Simmons is also optimistic about the holiday season.

"My prediction is that shoplifting will decrease during the holidays," he said.

Simmons said a recently implemented policy should also deter shoplifters at Randolph. Shoplifters are subject to a mandatory court appearance at the magistrate's court in downtown San Antonio.

"Now they have to show up in civilian court and be subject to fines and other court actions," he said.

Shoplifters are still subject to revocation of base privileges, Simmons said. Those without a Department of Defense affiliation are banned from all JBSA installations for two years, while those with a DoD affiliation are banned for one year if the amount stolen is greater than $100 and a six-month revocation of Army and Air Force Exchange Service or Defense Commissary Agency facility privileges if the amount stolen is less than $100.