It has happened to me a handful of times. I'm walking out of Kroger, maple turkey and Cheerios in tow, and I see someone waiting near the entrance, head down, hands in cuffs.
I guess its not necessarily surprising. Shrinkage in any retail situation is bound to happen. What struck me was, unless it was an uncanny coincidence, I have happened upon this scene about 5 different times.
I talked to a manager at Kroger's to cure my curiosity about how often this happens, what type of crime is occurring and if the police presence was having an impact.
According to the manager, there was an explosion of shoplifting when the store first opened. In her words, "they were catching people 4 to 5 times a week." Since then, Kroger has worked with Newport Police, who know have a car parked on the lot much of the time.
Kroger has also hired private security for every weekend and at night. Even with the security the company has hired, according to the manager "there still seems to be about one arrest a week."
The most interesting nugget from our conversation came when the manager told me the biggest issue, other than the shoplifting, was that the back parking lot was being used as a rendezvous point during drug deals. "Because of the proximity to the highway and the state line, the police told us our store was a convenient location. The police know the situation and seem to have it under control at this point."
Let's hope so. Has anyone else seen or heard anything like this?