Area Business Uses Social Media to Catch Shoplifters

Published 05/16 2014 09:31PM

Updated 05/16 2014 10:43PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) If you're looking to get away with a five-finger discount, the Lil' Pink Closet is not the store for you.

"It [shoplifting] doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, we work hard at making sure it's taken care of," said Ann-Maria Klundt, an employee at Lil' Pink Closet.

The St. Joseph consignment shop uses Facebook to call out thieves.

With the help of loyal customers, also known as the 'Lil' Pink Detectives,' the store is able to track them down.

"People get involved right away; 'hey, how can we help, hope they get caught!' then, when something's posted, they just take it into their own hands and start posting pictures for us," she said.

The 3-year-old business makes it known that shoppers are closely monitored.

"We have cameras everywhere, and we have individuals that back us up, and we have signs all over our store," said Klundt.

Signs that read 'smile, you're on camera' are on the inside and outside of the store.

The St. Joseph Police Department said it is normal for small businesses to deal with shoplifters on their own.

"Routinely, a lot of times, they will call us. But, it's not unheard of to have a system in place, in the store, where they handle it themselves sometimes," said Capt. Jeff Wilson.

If and when the thief is caught, the managers will decide if they follow through with the police.

"Unfortunately, there's a large number of shoplifting cases in the city, and we respond to quite a few of them. But, them having a system in place, that works for them, also helps us out with the number of calls we have to answer," said Capt. Wilson.

Employees said the Lil' Pink Detectives work hard to catch shoppers with sticky fingers.

They said they respect their customers, but will do whatever it takes to catch thieves.

"We don't want to turn anybody away, but we will take that in a professional manner," said Klundt.

Employess said their strategy to capture thieves actually works.

When the thief is caught, the person will bring back the clothes, and they usually do not press charges.

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