14 arrested in 4 days for shoplifting in Overland Park, police blame websites

Posted at 4:38 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 20:58:52-04

Overland Park Police make 14 arrests in 4 days and police say online website are encouraging people to shoplift.

The Organized Retail Crimes Unit with the Overland Park police department are focusing more efforts online. Those efforts include shoplifting websites where thieves tell other thieves where and how to steal. The popular website Reddit has a thread about shoplifting and even a post titled, "How to life from Wal-mart," for example.

Detective Sergeant Allan Keith says they're seeing a decrease in armed robberies but an increase in retail thefts because shoplifting is lucrative.

"On these websites, people will talk about shop lifting and boosting. And they will give tips to others. They will talk about their haul as they call it. Almost like a competition," said Keith.

The most recent arrest at an Overland Park area strip mall is one of 593 shop lifting events reported in Overland Park this year. Detective Keith says the hot items are designer clothes and designer handbags and many of the shoplifters work in teams. One person distracts the sales associate as the other steals merchandise.