Meijer subject to significant number of retail frauds in recent years


A7_Meijer

Over the last few months, the Meijer store located at 1015 E. Pickard St. has been the target of several retail frauds, larcenies and other crimes.

Shepherd sophomore, and Meijer patron Taylor Fenby said she believes the times and economy are affecting the mentality of many people, making them think stealing is a viable option.

"It kind of doesn't surprise me," Fenby said. "People have to do what they have to do. It's sad though. You don't want it to be the truth."

According to crime logs released by the Mount Pleasant Police Department, officers investigated a retail fraud at Meijer on Oct. 12 and a theft on Nov. 11. An incident of larceny was also reported on Nov. 18, along with several other crimes over the past few months.

Since July 1, 2012, the MPPD has responded to 153 incidents at the Meijer location including retail fraud and traffic accidents according to Public Information Officer Jeff Thompson.

“Retail Fraud is always a problem for our local department stores,” Thompson said. “But Meijer has full-time staffing, specifically for loss prevention.”

Thompson also specified that the 153 police-generated reports do not include other calls for service, which are instead documented by Central Dispatch.

“Looking at the types of reports to those locations, I do not see any new trends of increase in any type of calls for service,” Thompson said.

Meijer representatives refused to comment on the recent string of thefts and other crimes.

Thompson said there are not many clear-cut ways for citizens to protect themselves from crime in addition to Meijer’s loss-prevention staff. By working more openly with police, however, he said customers can help prevent acts of fraud and theft.

“What we can do is work together to identify criminal activity and minimize potential hazards,” Thompson said. “Citizens need to report suspicious activity to the police along with being aware of their surroundings to identify that suspicious behavior.”

Some Meijer shoppers were not surprised when they heard of the thefts. Ken Kadwell, a Mount Pleasant resident and Meijer shopper, said he believes it's almost a big city mentality.

"There may be more eyes out there, but there's fewer watching you," he said. "They feel like there's less people watching them, making it easier to steal things"


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