SCMPD: Shoplifting on the rise around Savannah - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SCMPD: Shoplifting on the rise around Savannah

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police say shoplifting continues to be on the rise in the area, and now they're taking steps to stop it. 

Police say shoplifting often goes up in the summer months because the kids are out of school and people tend to take vacations and have more free time to shop and browse around in the stores. 

But this year, SCMPD officials say shoplifting has continuously been on the rise, way before the summer break began. They say the increase in shoplifting this year has mostly occurred on Savannah's Southside due to the heavy commercial retail located in that area. 

Officials say they are not exactly sure why shoplifting is on the rise, but say it could be recidivism, or people being released from jail. They say it could also be related to the many travelers that pass through the area since it is located off of heavily traveled Interstate 95. 

Metro police say shoplifting is taken very seriously and any person that gets caught will be arrested and charged, have to appear in court and pay a hefty fine. 

Police are asking the public to report shoplifting if they see it. 

"It affects all of us. The items taken will the affect prices or staffing or who knows what in the future, so being proactive, being concerned about your community is what we really want people to get involved in. So if you see something, let a staff member know," said Cpl. John Simmons, crime prevention officer. 

The Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department is already taking steps to cut down on shoplifting by putting marked units in and around the shopping areas, as well as working more closely with the loss prevention units in stores.

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