According to Grove Police Chief Mark Morris, the Grove area has seen an increase in the number of shoplifting arrests at local retail stores over the past few months.

“The police department will be meeting with the retail stores that are showing an increase in an effort to assist them with ways to make it harder for shoplifters to commit their crimes,” Morris said.

He explained that as the Christmas season draws near and stores become packed with holiday shoppers, shoplifting crimes increase.

Morris said the increase in arrests shows that the stores’ loss prevention officers and the police are working well together to enforce the law and capture offenders.

“However, we hope to decrease shoplifting,” he noted. “We plan to work on areas of prevention that will enable us to stop the crimes before they happen.”

He said officers from GPD will be walking through stores as a deterrent and that individual stores will be implementing heightened security measures.

The crime of shoplifting carries a large fine along with jail time, which ranges from up to one year in the county jail to several years in prison, depending on the offence.

“By working with our retail stores, we hope to reduce this crime in the upcoming season,” Morris said.