I’m behind bars for shoplifting thousands in merchandise from big box stores – tougher laws won’t stop the epidemic | Englishheadline


MORE and more retailers are cracking down on theft by implementing a range of strategies designed to combat shoplifting.

But, concerns have been raised over the effectiveness of tougher punishment-related measures.

A former leader of a retail crime ring has issued a warning to stores and claimed tough tactics won’t stop theft and it should be solved through treatment instead.

Martin Castaway is serving six years in jail for theft


Martin Castaway is serving six years in jail for theftCredit: KGW News
The shoplifter claimed that tougher laws and punishment would not help to curb rising retail theft


The shoplifter claimed that tougher laws and punishment would not help to curb rising retail theftCredit: KGW News

This comes as retailers have introduced harsher anti-theft measures to clamp down on retail theft.

Martin Castaway, 41, is serving seven years in an Oregon prison but claims many of these policies are not as effective for stores, according to KGW News.

One popular anti-theft measure is armed security guards at store doors but Martin questioned their impact.

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He said: “If I see a security dude with a gun, I know he can’t touch me.”

Supermarket chain Fred Meyer has introduced receipt checks as customers exit the store, in Oregon.

Stores have stated that these tougher policies are working but Castaway was skeptical of this approach.

He said: “No, not at all. 

“What, some old lady is going to say, ‘Sir, Sir!?’ By that time, I’ve already got that stuff in my car. 

“While they’re trying to pull out their phone, I’m already out of the parking lot.

Castaway added officials should open more treatment programs to curb the rise in retail crime.

He said: “They need treatment, not prison.

Castaway pled guilty to two counts of first-degree aggravated theft and one count of organized retail theft, on March 16, according to Clackamas County sheriff’s office.

The US Sun has previously reported on the rise of retail theft across the county as store CEOs have made statements on the issue.

Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Lauren Hobart warned of the “serious issue” of shrinkage in stores. 

Shrinkage is a retail term that refers to a store’s loss of merchandise typically due to theft. 

Hobart said: “Our Q2 profitability was short of our expectations due in large part to the impact of elevated inventory shrink, an increasingly serious issue impacting many retailers.”

Dick’s chief financial officer Navdeep Gupta blamed organized retail crime for the store’s financial losses. 

Gupta said: “This is not just a Dick’s Sporting Goods challenge. 

“This is a collective retail challenge.”

Dollar Tree’s CEO has announced three new measures for its stores to tackle the issue. 

CEO Rick Dreiling stated that some stores will place popular branded products behind the counter, behind plexiglass, or remove them from stores altogether.

Dreiling also claimed that stores could be forced to raise their prices in the future due to inventory shrink. 

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Target’s CEO Brian Cornell made a shocking revelation to investors about the rise of violent crime in stores, compared to the same time last year.

Cornell said: “During the first five months of this year, our stores saw a 120% increase in theft incidents involving violence or threats of violence.”

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