Simpsonville Police working a dozen theft cases from new outlet mall
LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Shoplifting at the new Simpsonville Outlet Mall is such a problem, police want extra officers and tougher penalties.
Simpsonville Police are having to work closely with mall security to catch the suspects in the act and, recently, they've been successful.
Three women almost got away with a trunk full of more than $10,000 dollars worth of stolen clothes, shoes and purses in late December.
"I believe the ladies had previous charges of shoplifting as well," said Simpsonville Police Chief Chip Minnis.
Chief Minnis says his officers are currently working a dozen shoplifting cases from the outlet mall, which has only been open about six months.
He says it's really added to their case load.
"It has been a learning experience. It has become a little bit of a strain to deal with because of the amount of dollars," he said.
Because of all the shoplifting at the mall, he hopes to add a few extra officers to his five man department in the near future.
While WDRB was at the mall shooting video for this story, our crew even saw it themselves.
Our cameras caught some alleged thieves booking down the highway after running out of Saks OFF 5th with alarms sounding.
Police say the two people got away with a couple thousand dollars worth of merchandise, but officers will likely be able to identify them later.
Chief Minnis says The Shoppes have been cooperating with investigations and they've been able to identify persons of interest because of high quality surveillance video.
"They provide us with good intel and video, good video," said Chief Minnis.
He says no violent crimes have been reported at the outlet mall since it opened but he's afraid it's only a matter of time.
"Given time, I'm sure we're going to be faced with it. We want to send a message that we're not just going to cite you and let you walk away. We're going to prosecute to the fullest," he told WDRB.
Police say the commonwealth's attorney wants to start charging shoplifters with organized crime for steeper penalties.
Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All rights reserved.