Puyallup Police Community Roundtable Sheds Light on Organized Retail Crime

Puyallup business owners met with members of the Puyallup Police Department to learn how to curb retail theft and organized crime in their stores.

Thursday’s Crime Prevention Roundtable at Fairfield Inn and Suites was an eye-opener for many local business owners, said Puyallup Police Capt. Scott Engle.

The topic of the quarterly community meeting was organized crime and retail theft. About 30 business people attended the roundtable, hosted by Engle and five fellow officers.

“We heard from the business community that was in attendance that they realized they had theft rings in their shops before and were more educated on what to look for,” said Engle.

Officers spotlighted the recent arrest of a well-organized diaper theft ring that hit a South Hill Safeway. Three individuals were arrested for allegedly stealing over $600 worth of diapers and are thought to be responsible for other recent retail thefts in the area. The suspects admitted to police they would steal cleaning supplies and diapers from area stores to support their Oxycontin addictions.

That particular example of local, organized crime struck business owners because each suspect had “a job to do” to pull it off, said Engle.

Here are some suggestions offered at the roundtable to better secure your business, from the Puyallup Police Department:

- Have at least two employees open and close the business

- Keep purses and personal valuables locked in desks or lockers

- Keep your business neat and clean

- Make sure sales counter can be seen clearly

- Try to greet customers as they enter the business

- Keep your business well-lit inside and outside.

- If you see something suspicious call the police.

- Watch folks who come in with backpacks and bags.

- Watch folks who are “roaming the stores” and not necessarily browsing in the store.


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