Saginaw Township Police wrap-up shoplifting blitz - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw Township Police wrap-up shoplifting blitz

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(12/13/13) - It's been a busy week for police and retailers as they tried to tackle the problem of holiday shoplifting.

Four people were arrested in Midland, accused of taking several thousands of dollars from one store.

Friday, Saginaw Township Police were wrapping up a two-day shoplifting blitz, and the number of arrests are up from last year.

"Right from the get go, about 15 minutes early, there was a lot of activity," said Saginaw Township Crime Prevention Officer, Matthew Oswald.

Oswald is part of the two-day shoplifting blitz where police put more officers in shopping areas, and stores put more secret shoppers in the stores to cut down the thefts that take place right before Christmas. Last year, there were few arrests, but Saginaw Township Police Chief Don Pussehl says that was not the case on Thursday.

"We arrested 16 individuals for shoplifting," he said. "We doubled what we did last year in the first day."

Police are especially looking for what they believe could be shoplifting rings. Midland Police believe the four people they arrested Monday after taking nearly $5,000 worth of merchandise are suspects in other shoplifting incidents in other counties.

"Four of the arrests we made, they went from store to store to store, several stores," Pussehl said.

"The people that do shoplifting as a living," Oswald said.

Oswald says loss prevention officers are in stores posing as secret shoppers.

"All he has to do is let me know that he is observing a shoplifter, he has selection concealment type of thing, and I'm able to get into the area, so as soon as they make the arrest, I can continue it from there," Oswald said.

Pussehl says the blitz lasts two days, but the crackdown on shoplifting will continue after that.

"We take shoplifting very seriously," he said.

The Michigan State Police and the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department assisted in the blitz.

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