‘It’s a problem:’ Shoplifting a major concern during holidays

Just Tuesday morning, three people were arraigned on theft charges in Boardman Municipal Court, all in separate incidents

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Shoplifting happens everywhere, especially around the holidays.

“Unfortunately it’s a problem we need to handle,” said Detective Doug Flara of the Boardman Police Department.

“People have always liked to engage in what they call the five finger discount,” said Joe Bell, a spokesperson for the Eastwood Mall.

In fact, just Tuesday morning in Boardman Municipal Court, Jacob Harvey, John Tinney and Lavette Boone were all arraigned on theft charges. They were accused in three separate shoplifting incidents in Boardman.

According to a police report, Harvey is accused of stealing clothes from Sears, Pac-Sun and Dilliards last Thursday.

Boone, according to another police report, was accused of stealing clothes from Macy’s last Thursday.

Joe Seaman was also accused of stealing from Macy’s last Thursday, according to a police report. He failed to show up for court Tuesday.

Just last November, three women were caught on tape filling shopping bags with merchandise from Victoria’s Secret at the Eastwood Mall before they were confronted and ran out.

Each year across the nation, retail thefts total an estimated $13 billion in losses.

“That’s why we need to take it seriously,” Flara said. “I think, ultimately, the people that obey the law and pay full price at retail are the ones that are going to have to foot the bill for this.”

Flara works closely with retail loss prevention in Boardman to help combat these crimes.

“This year it seems like we have not had a big spike in theft judging from the reports that have come in so far,” he said.

But retailers and law enforcement still ask shoppers to be observant.

“Report it to someone — the store manager or store clerk,” Bell said.