Stricter penalties a possibility for Simpsonville outlet mall sh - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Stricter penalties a possibility for Simpsonville outlet mall shoplifters

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Simpsonville's five-man police department is currently working a dozen theft cases from the outlet mall, yet the shoplifting continues. Simpsonville's five-man police department is currently working a dozen theft cases from the outlet mall, yet the shoplifting continues.

SIMPSONVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Stricter penalties are a possibility for anyone who shoplifts from the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass. Shelby County Commonwealth's Attorney Laura Witt says shoplifters at The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass have been keeping local law enforcement busier than usual.

Simpsonville's five-man police department is currently working a dozen theft cases from the outlet mall, yet the shoplifting continues.

"What we've seen since the outlet mall opened is an increase in retail crime," Witt told WDRB.

"It is our intention, I should say, to prosecute fully these individuals. We have statutes on the books that allow us to increase the offense," she said.

Police say thieves are getting away with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise every time they steal.

Witt says it's taking away from other matters in the community.

"We're spending a lot of our resources actually apprehending and dealing with the charges of the individual which means we aren't out dealing with other calls," she said.

Witt says it's also a safety issue.

"We've got problems with people who are trying to flee when they get caught. They don't want to be caught so you're having assaults, you're having robberies. We have a lot of young people who work at our outlet mall. We have a lot of individuals. We want to make sure and protect the safety of the employees. We want to make sure and protect the people who come to our great county to shop there," Witt said.

Witt wants to charge perpetrators with organized crime versus just theft.

"That allows us to charge a higher sentence for that penalty and it does make it a class C felony," she told WDRB.

It's believed many of the suspects are part of a bigger organization.

"I think when you look at the shear volume that they're stealing and the thousands of dollars; multiple handbags, multiple items from one store, I think they're definitely driving here from other locations within the state as well as from outside of the state for the purpose of stealing from our merchants," she said.

Witt says they're taking the matter very seriously and if you know anything about recent thefts from the outlet mall, you're asked to call Simpsonville Police.

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