According to police, the viral video of last week's Academy shoplifter demonstrates just how far some people will go to get away with a crime.
Of course, in that case, the woman was ultimately caught and will face charges; but local businesses lose hundreds of thousands of dollars to thieves every year, and every year, thieves come up with new ways to commit crimes.
Those trending crimes were the subject of a loss prevention meeting among Corpus Christi retailers Wednesday, who heard from local police officers who are on the front lines in the never ending battle against five-finger discounts.
"They're using their children, and taking their children to the fitting room," said Senior Officer Emily Perez of the Corpus Christi Police Department.
Perez has seen what shoplifters will do to rip off local businesses. She says they will stop at nothing to get away with a crime that hurts not only retailers, but ultimately, the consumer.
On Wednesday, La Palmera Mall retailers were told to look out for adults with children carrying backpacks, or pushing strollers into dressing rooms.
"Security observed the mother walk into the fitting room with nothing in the back pack, and then when she walked out of the fitting room, it was bulging," Perez said. "And she just walked straight out of the store, and that's how it was observed and caught."
Another trending crime is counterfeit money. Crime Prevention Advisor Brenda Rodriguez said criminals are now washing money to remove the ink from a dollar bill, and then reprinting a higher denomination using the same bill.
Clerks, Rodriguez says, should be especially vigilant.
"Right here, it's missing a faceplate, and then back here it's got a backplate also, and you have to familiarize yourself with the dollar bills themselves, or hundred dollar bills or fifty dollar bills, so you aware," Rodriguez said. "But a lot of the times, like I said, people are not aware, so we want to make sure that they become informed."
The final trending crime involves mailboxes. Police have seen a big increase in the number of residential and apartment complex mailboxes being hit by thieves. They say to be wary of putting your mail out and raising the red flag for pickup, because you are telling thieves that there is something worth ripping off.
One additional note police want to pass out to those who use their children to rip off retailers: If you use your child to help you commit a theft, and you are caught, Child Protective Services will be called to the scene.
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