Yakima Stores Suffering From Retail Theft Police Taking Action
Theft is a big money loser for Yakima area businesses and Yakima Police are trying to change that. In fact Vicki Baker co-owner of the Grocery Outlet store on South 1st street says each year they lose thousands of dollars from people who walk into the store and walk out without paying. In 2021 because of a lack of officers the Yakima Police Department had to cut the Property Crimes Division and transfer officers into other areas. Now with the division back and fully staffed Officers are conducting retail theft operations to find and arrest suspects.
The operations have resulted in numerous arrests
Police say the operations are putting people in jail.
Authorities say an operation last week resulted in arrests. Each week the division conducts the operations at various stores in Yakima. Last week detectives were able to arrest 6 people for retail theft after catching them at local stores. Police aren't giving details of how the operations work or where they're happening hoping to surprise and catch more retail thieves.
The operations started late last year
The retail theft operations in October and November of last year resulted in 22 arrests being made and thousands of dollars in losses saved by local retailers.
Baker, owner of the Grocery Outlet store on South 1st Street in Yakima has been pushing for tougher state laws for years after being a victim of retail theft at her store. Police say now that the operations are ongoing and will continue in the new year.
We've all seen the organized retail theft operations on TV
Authorities are not only warning about retail theft but also about what's called "organized retail theft" when people steal with while working with another person. The crime is a serious felony offense that can result in 10 years in state prison.
The problem is that police usually aren't on the scene by the time the organized retail theft has happened.