'Tis the season for shoplifting? - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

'Tis the season for shoplifting?

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

As Christmas Day approaches, stores are not just packed with last minute shoppers. Last minute shoplifters are out as well, taking the risky gamble of either snatching-up that perfect gift, or spending the holidays in jail.

Officials say the number of shoplifting reports commonly rise during the holiday season as consumers grow desperate. Most holiday shoplifters assume that, because the stores are more crowded, they will likely go unnoticed. However, both store management and law enforcement tend to be aware of the rise in shoplifting during this season, and increase measures to prevent and apprehend theft.

Columbus police reports reveal area Wal-Marts to be the most common place to get caught stealing this holiday season, especially in the electronics department.

On Friday, Dec. 20, a Loss Prevention specialist stopped a man from stealing $969.13 worth of merchandise, mostly electronics, from the Wal-Mart on Whittlesey Blvd. The amount makes the shoplifting a felony offense. However, the suspect drove away in a white Ford Expedition. He is described as a white male, 6'0", 300 lbs, wearing blue jeans and a tan long sleeve shirt.

On the same day, two shoplifters were reported stealing electronics from the Wal-Mart on Airport Thurway. Wal-Mart Asset Protection specialists observed one man take a bag from a register and stuff a Sony Blu-ray player and a 20" monitor into the bag while squatting down in the children's department. The other suspect hid a T-mobile phone in a trash can. Before they could be apprehended, both exited the store through the hardware department, leaving the packaging for the phone behind.

On Thursday, Dec. 19, 21-year-old Kierra Cook was arrested for shoplifting from the Wal-Mart Buena Vista Rd.

Still, Wal-Mart is not the only store dealing with the issue. Tamika Richmond, 35, was arrested Friday for shoplifting from K-Mart, while four people were reportedly caught stealing from the Peachtree Mall Macy's on the same day.  

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