Loss prevention team safeguard against shoplifters

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, November 26, 2007

AIKEN, S.C --- A busy holiday shopping weekend, but not all those shoppers are looking to cash out at the register. Two of them - Gia Powell Hegre and Paula Posey Kaylor. Both caught in Aiken for stealing more than $200 in merchandise.

Richmond County says it saw it's fair share of shoplifting this weekend. And no dramatic increase in Columbia County. But one store in Augusta is stepping up it's fight against shoplifters.

Long lines and watchful eyes -- all trying to stop shoplifters.

"We have our employees walking the floor, constantly monitoring what's going on," says Best Buy Employee Nadira Spearman.

It's a Dillard's employee who caught this woman - 58 year old Paula Kaylor. This after the employee found 11 items from the children's section of the Aiken store. And this women, 44 year old Gia Hegre -- arrested for being with Kaylor when a TV and DVD's were stolen from Sears in Augusta.

One lady in Best Buy making sure no one gets out without paying. It's all part of their Loss Prevention Team. Always keeping their eyes open.

"One of the hot areas, such as the gaming department, CD's, DVD's. Anything that may look suspicious, they are always there," says Spearman.

This year, going a lot smoother than last year for Best Buy.

"We didn't have as many people trying to steal this year. We had 1 or 2 people try to shoplift, but it was stopped before it happened," says Spearman.

The key - prevention before prosecution. What they call - Shrink Stops.

"If our cameras spotted someone suspicious, they actually try to prevent them from taking before they actually do," says Spearman.

30 more employees were working this holiday weekend than last year. That's 60 more eyes. And if one department is busy, another takes over to make sure no one is getting away for free. And if something is taken...

"Basically, to anyone out there who's thinking about shoplifting, I wouldn't try it in Best Buy. Because, you will go to jail," says Spearman.

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