Green Bay, retailers brainstorm to stop shoplifters

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Retailers and police teamed up in Green Bay on Tuesday for a summit to crack down on retail theft.

It came one day after Green Bay police arrested a woman for shoplifting, who had six previous shoplifting charges and eleven warrants -- highlighting the importance of this meeting.

While shoplifting may sound like no big deal, police say it is.

Green Bay's police chief says they see more complaints of retail theft every week than any other crime.

Police brought retailers from across Brown County together to brainstorm ways to prevent retail thefts.

As Action 2 News has been reporting over the last year, police have been trying new initiatives like sending people to jail, charging them in circuit court, or posting pictures of chronic offenders on Facebook.

While they say that's working, they're asking retailers to take steps, too. They suggest things like posting signs saying if you're caught for retail theft, your car will be towed.

They're also encouraging upgrades to surveillance cameras to get higher-quality images and make it easier to identify shoplifters.

"It's a great discussion. I think the GBPD has laid out some really interesting discussion items for the talk, and they've also provided us with some really interesting statistics on activity in Green Bay in relation to theft," Mick O'Malley, Cellcom's director of internal controls and operations, said.

"I'm hoping that it's reminding them that we take this seriously and anything we can do to help the loss prevention or store management to make things -- if it's the policies at the corporate level or anything we can do -- we're here to help them," Green Bay Police crime prevention coordinator Melanie Skalmoski said.

Police say thefts happen for many reasons. Sometimes people think they can get away with it. But police believe high-end items are stolen for drug money, saying more and more offenders, when they're caught, have meth or drug pipes on them.