Simpsonville outlet mall and police department expansions coinci - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Simpsonville outlet mall and police department expansions coincide

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SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Simpsonville Police have been overloaded with theft and shoplifting cases since the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass opened last summer.

Patrolling the parking lots of the new mall has become routine for officers.

“We just ride the parking lot, check the scene, make sure everything is safe out there and move throughout the other parts of the city,” said Chip Minnis, Simpsonville Police Chief.

Police are constantly being called to the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass for alleged shoplifting, thefts and robberies.

The case-load is being shared among five officers.

"It is time consuming,” said Chief Minnis.

Chief Minnis told WDRB they've made arrests for almost a dozen cases in 2014.

They've had 10 more this year.

“All the stores are being hit,” he said.

Simpsonville officers will soon have more ground to cover.

The mall is adding eight stores to the north part of the property.

But Simpsonville Police will soon add another officer to its force, which Chief Minnis says will help in more ways than one.

"There's just a need to have more officers on the street,” said Minnis.

Minnis says adding an officer was part of a five year plan for the department.

It's possible, in part, because of the money the mall is bringing to the county.

"The mall has been a positive even though it's been a negative but the positives outweigh that immensely,” said Minnis.

While officers work to solve cases, shoplifting continues at the mall but Minnis says he thinks it's slowing down because the Shelby County Prosecutor is pushing for stricter penalties in the courtroom.

"We are having a great support system from our court system here in Shelby County,” Minnis told WDRB.

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