Oro Valley Police Department warns local businesses about rise in shoplifting

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 5:40 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Oro Valley Police are warning businesses about a rise in shoplifting. They’ve received several reports of thieves filling up shopping carts, walking out with stolen merchandise, and then reselling it on social media.

There were close to 200 shoplifting crimes reported in Oro Valley in 2021. This year there are already more than 30. The number one business targeted was Walmart.

A number of other stores were hit right in the Oro Valley Marketplace, But these were only the reported crimes. OVPD tells says there are likely many more.

“A lot of times people could be stealing because they’re desperate or there’s another need. While it’s nice to try to involve yourself and help your community, the best way to do that is just to call us,” OVPD’s Mike Duran said.

Response time is critical when it comes to burglaries and shoplifting, but they don’t always get a call when these crimes happen.

Duran says, because of the number of shoplifting crimes, OVPD sent a PSA to Oro Valley businesses. He says some employees and businesses don’t call because they believe OVPD won’t respond in time.

“What we want to make sure is that our local businesses and partners know is that if they call us, we’ll respond,” he said.

There’s another crime associated with recent shoplifting: reselling stolen goods online.

“If someone were to shoplift something at home depot and then try to resell it on social media or another website online, that’s actually trafficking of stolen property. It’s a different crime and it’s a felony usually. We can follow up with those crimes separately without having to involve a local business or where they stole it from originally,” Duran explained.

He says they typically see trends online that can be tied in with recent thefts. One of the items they see resold the most online is power tools.

“If we see something like that and it’s an unreasonable price for something. Let’s say it’s a $300 item and someone is selling it for $50 and we see 10 or 15 of them, that’s usually indicative that maybe something suspicious is going on,” he said.

But the crime doesn’t stop here. Resident’s personal property has also been stolen. Duran says they have a number of cases involving break-ins at storage units.

“That’s a little harder to track unless people have good details on what was stolen. We always recommend that if people purchase firearms or anything of incredible value, write your serial numbers down, make sure you have that in a safe place because those are easier to track,” he said.

Above all, OVPD says if you see something you think is suspicious, call so police can investigate.

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