Retail Shoplifting On The Rise In Sonora
Sonora, CA – Six different Sonora retailers including two groceries, a big box, dollar and dress stores were targeted by thieves this past weekend.
While not all the thieves succeed in getting away with the loot, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Sonora Police relay the first theft report came in on Saturday at 4:16 p.m. with the last one on Monday just after midnight. The rash of crimes prompted Clarke Broadcasting to ask Sonora Police if a crime ring had targeted the area or if this is a new trend?
Chief Turu VanderWiel dismissed the ring theory but pointed to what he calls “a steady increase over the years,” which he attributes to recent legislation. “The designation of crimes from felonies to misdemeanors along with prison and jails being overfilled. So, all of that I think has a direct impact on the number of larcenies and how they are going on, for sure,” affirmed Chief VanderWiel.
The Chief signals that the thefts are affecting not only area businesses, but consumers too, “It’s devastating. Obviously, the smaller the business the more impact it would have on them. Even the larger businesses that can write a lot of it off, I think eventually that comes back on the consumers anyway in rising costs.”
Another reason Chief VanderWiel urges the public to get involved. While some people may hesitate to call the police if something looks suspicious, fearing they may be wrong or be wasting police time, the Chief insists he would rather get a call than not. He strongly believes in this mantra, “If you see something say something. That’s the best, I think, advice I can give the community. To pitch in and help us to stop or at least minimize the impact.”