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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 12, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta 34 THE LETHBRIOGE HERALD Wednesday, February 12, 1975 Men and ivomen equally guilty of shoplifting Store owner describes problems There's no telling who's a shoplifter During the last three months of 1974, 81 charges of shoplifting were laid with Lethbridge City Police. Of that number, 20 were women and 19 men. Light fingeredness was also about equal in the juvenile category: 20 teenaged males were charged and 22 females. Inspector Glen Michelson of the City Police says although the problem of shoplifting is certainly not diminishing in Lethbridge, neither has it increased alarmingly. Most shoplifting offenses are categorized in the "theft under category, for which imprisonment for two years is a possible punishment. For theft of more valuable items over the defendant is liable to imprison- ment for up to 10 years time. Insp. Michelson says that the two months before Christmas "are the worst" for in- cidences of shoplifting in November and December of last year, 38 and 31 charges of. shoplifting were placed, compared with 12 in October and 19 in September arid 16 in August. Juvenile girls are tried in adult court when they are 18, boys two years earlier, at 16. Prior to that, youthful heisters are tried in juvenile court where, depending on the seriousness and number of offences, fines, probations and placement as wards in government homes may be the penalties. Insp. Michelson says giving people a warn- ing serves as punishment and prevention enough in some cases, as do fines. But in other instances, neither does much good. He says some stores, such as Eatons and Hoyts, appear to be placing charges more often, finding that "handling it themselves" sometimes doesn't prevent repeaters. adds Mr. Insp. Michelson, "has always prosecuted shoplifters regularly." "We do admits Insp. Michelson, "a bit of a problem with elderly ladies who shoplift, I don't know why that is." Sandy Sandulak, manager of Macleods Family Shopping Centre, estimates that about 60 per cent of his "non paying" customers are women. "Bras, believe it or says Mr. San- dulak, "are the items we loose most often. They take them out of the boxes, roll them up and put them in their purse. And there are the odd bold ones, who take in shopping bags and have a field day." By LYNNE VAN LUVEN Herald Family Editor Catching someone dressed as a nun shoplifting really destroys a person's faith in humanity. But, after several years 'behind the counter' as a store owner, it becomes evident there's absolutely no pattern to indicate who is a potential shoplifter and who's a 'regular' customer, says Er- nie Hendricks, owner of .the Shoppers Drug Mart at Centre Village Mall. "The cross section of peo- ple we've caught shoplifting is utterly says Mr. Hendricks. "We've had policemen's children, nuns, senior citizens, ministers' children and wives There's just rio pattern to it at all. But I still can't see someone serious about religion shoplifting I'm positive it was a bogus nun." SPECIAL PURCHASE NAME BRAND Sportswear OUR BUYER HAS JUST RETURNED FROM HER BUYING TRIP, BUYING NOT ONLY SPRING FASHIONS, BUT TREMENDOUS BUYS IN SPORTSWEAR TO CARRY YOU THROUGH SPRING. Styles in Fortrel, Polyester, Wool in assorted shades, plain, checks, plaid. PANT SUITS Regular Si? VESTS BLOUSES SHIRTS VEST SKIRTS SKIRTS ed Ktgulo: V? NOW MANY MANY ITEMS IN JACkETS VESTS SWEATERS BIOUSE SKIRTS NOT LISTED COATS By UTEX SKI -JACKETS betty 712 4th Ave. S. College Mall shop Centre Village Mall Despite several years in the business, Mr. Hendricks is ob- viously still a little rattled by that apparent sister whose 'habit' was petty theft. Inter- viewed on a slow morning in a crowded staffroom at the back of his store, he was one of the few managers of larger businesses in the city who would talk to' The Herald about the problems of shoplifting in any detail. He said he couldn't explain other managers' reluctance to discuss shoplifting, unless they didn't "want to admit they were being ripped off." "Pretending that shoplifting isn't a problem certainly isn't going to make it less of a said Mr. Hendricks. "We're looking at a problem that takes up about two per cent of our overall says the owner manager. "And when that much of your profit is eaten up by loss of goods as well as expenditures to purchase security devices, you can't ignore it." Mr. Hendricks said that in a store his size, any increase in shoplifting can't be pin pointed. "It's an intangible thing we know it's there because we constantly find empty containers in the store. "We have a bad time with young girls who take cosmetics such as lipstick and he adds. "That's ail indication of what we're loosing, but we also loose items, container and all, and that might not show up until we do inventory at year end." Mr. Hendricks admits stores may not be fair in blaming all of their losses on the public. "It's estimated that as much as 75 per cent of shoplifting might be inter- he says, "but of course no owner wants to believe that." He says thrft the smaller the store, the more discernible theft losses are, since they take "more of a bite out of gross profits and eat up a bigger chunk of the volume of sales." In his store, very few large items are stolen. The customers go through one way turnstiles to enter the store and must go past the check out counter when Motor vehicles major consumers9 complaint EDMONTON (CP) Alberta's Consumer Affairs Branch received written complaints in 1974, an increase of 340 per cent over 1973, and telephoned complaints, an increase of 302 per cent. The branch's annual report, said it considered of the complaints "resolvable" and 78 per cent of these were resolved to the consumer's satisfaction. "Motor vehicles was the category of greatest consumer dis- satisfaction, comprising 15 per cent of all written and 16 per cent of telephone complaints the branch said. "The majority of these complaints dealt wilt with used car sales and car repairs." "The majority of these complaints dealt with used car sales and car repairs." Complaints concerning food, primarily price increases, rank- ed second with nine per cent of the written and 13 per cent of the telephone complaints. The appliance category, led by television sales and service, ranked third, credit transactions were fourth and home im- provement problems fifth. leaving. "If they have a large package with them and we're suspicious about them, we're quite within our rights to ask to examine their parcels and we sometimes says Mr. Hendricks. "Teenagers and people over 65 are the worst he says. "And in 99 per cent of the cases, when confronted, they have more than enough money to pay for the item they've shoplifted. It's a puzzling thing, I don't know how to explain it." He suggests some youngsters' shoplifting must stem from lack of proper guidance at home. Upon oc- casion, when his staff has told parents their children have been caught trying to steal, the parents are angrier at the store than at their children. "My policy is, if someone's over 16 and within the range of being arrested, I will take him to says Mr. Hendricks. "I might be a little hard nosed but that two per cent loss can be the difference between making and loosing money. "It seldom he adds, "just to bawl them out and make them give back the stuff." He has caught kids un- der 13, warned them, and had them back again shoplifting later." "If it's kids around 12 or 13, I. must get a policeman to come down, have a chat with them, and talk with their parents. If it's just a little duffer picking up a chocolate bar, which happens every day, we have him return it, and ex- plain the situation." Mr. Hendricks says a "surprizing number" of youthful shoplifters are "do- ing it on a in order to win acceptance with 'a peer group at school. "We always take the in- dividual case into he adds, "but what excuse can there be? Most kids learn from an early age that if you haven't got the money for an item, it isn't yours to take. Mr. Hendricks conceded that the layout, size and mass merchandizing techniques of many stores today make them "a shoplifter's .haven." He says with the high counters and wide array of merchan- dize carried in many stores, all a potential shoplifter has to be is "bold." And whatever way you look at it, he adds, the responsibili- ty of paying for stolen goods falls on the consumer because the businessman eventually will try to recover shoplifted profits by increasing the cost of goods. She's Here Jimmie and Debbie Kerber would like to announce the arrival of their new baby sister "PIA ANNETTE" weigh- ing in at 8 Ibs. 2 oz. on Feb. 9th at L. Municipal Hospital. Our happy parents i are Randi and Walter Kerber of Lethbridge. I LOYAL ORDER OF MOOSE 1234-3rd Ave. North REGULAR WIO. MIGHT BINOO 8 P.M. 25 GAMES DOUBLE MONEY CARDS MANY EXTRAS This Week's Jackpot in 56 Numbers 5 CMOS SI (1 CARDS PAY DOUBLE DOOR PRIZE No one under J 6 years allowed 10 play! AFTERNOON BINGO EASLTHARS MOOSE HALL-1234 3rd Ave. North a Clrdi Monty DOUILID WHkly jMkpot-Prini-FrM Cirdi Sponsored by The Moose Lodge No Children Undtr 16 to Wdconw Sears Meet'Charlie'... the original scent by Revlon Charlie is full of youth, full of surprises, definitely original. And just like you. Charlie is the gorgeous, sexy new scent that says you're right in step. Now in six beautiful ways to suit you. Meet Charlie. Then treat yourself to Charlie. At your Sears Revlon counter. Concentrated Cologne Spray S4.50-S9.75 Concentrated Perfume Purse Spray Concentrated Perfume Spray Concentrated Perfume-in-a-Pot Concentrated Perfume Oil Concentrated Cologne Beauty Bonus With your or more purchase of Revlon products, including a Charlie item, you will receive this special beauty bonus containing Moon Drops Peel-Off Masque, Revlon Lip Gloss and Revlon Eye Shadow. In a neat gift box. -Simpsons-Sears Ltd.' Enjoy it now! Use your All Puipow Account. STORE HOURS: Open Dally a.m. to p.m. At Simpsons-Sears you get'the finest guarantee Thursday and Friday a.m. to p.m. Miitactfan or money refunded. Centre Village Mall. Telephone 328-9231 ;