Abilene police and stores ready to combat holiday shoplifting


ABILENE, Texas - Black Friday came and went, but the holiday shopping – and shoplifting season – is still alive and well.

Abilene police and stores are taking steps to stop shoppers inclined to steal.

Officer George Spindler said most stores are well aware that shoplifting can get out of hand during the holidays.

"The store security personnel throughout our community are going to be very busy and very observant to foil any type of offenses involving theft," Spindler said.

Shoplifters are also aware they are being watched and target vulnerable stores.

"I would expect that it [shoplifting] would increase a little bit during the holidays – maybe because of the crowds," he said.

Shoplifters do not only steal from stores, they also target other shoppers. Spindler said shoppers should never leave their purse, purchases or any valuables out of their sight.

Last holiday season, the shopping areas around the Mall of Abilene and Highway 351 reported the most shoplifting.

Police have already begun stepping up patrols around the mall and Shops of Abilene for this holiday season.

Jessica Escobedo, crew leader at $1 Jewelry Galore on Highway 351, said she and her staff tirelessly watch their security cameras. She said they have never had a problem with shoplifting and plan to keep it that way.

"We're not going to take any chances this holiday, this Christmas, with shoplifters," Escobedo said. "We're hiring an extra crew to help us watch for our shoplifters."

A United Supermarkets spokesman said their stores see the biggest increase in shoplifting in November and December. They will have extra security in the days leading up to Christmas.