Spartanburg police put focus on shoplifting - FOX Carolina 21

Spartanburg police put focus on shoplifting

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Investigator Eric Gallman works to crackdown on shoplifting in Spartanburg (FOX Carolina) Investigator Eric Gallman works to crackdown on shoplifting in Spartanburg (FOX Carolina)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Police in Spartanburg are working to crack down on shoplifting in the area, a trend they said has been fueled of late by drug abusers. 

In the first three months of 2016, police said there were 232 shoplifting cases, nearly half of them at the Walmart on Dorman Centre Rd. Last year in total, there were 907 incidents. 

Investigator Eric Gallman said he has been investigating the crimes since January. He said many of them seem to have one thing in common: Drug addicts are stealing items form stores and selling the stolen goods to dealers in exchange for a fix. He added thieves have found creative ways to steal, especially from Walmart stores within the city. 

Gallman said there are several organized shoplifting rings in the city. 

In the last five years, nearly a quarter million dollars of merchandise was stolen in Spartanburg from retail stores, investigators said. Only $69,000 has been recovered. 

Gallman said the rise in shoplifting could affect consumers' wallets. 

"That may cause a price increase, that may be a safety issue for the store. It impacts the community in many ways," he said. 

Many stores have had to beef up security in the wake of shoplifting incidents, especially smaller family-owned stores. 

Gallman said he hopes the renewed efforts by police will help reverse the trend. 

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