No let-up in Longford shoplifting scourge as thieves target department stores

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Theft

Heatons store in Longford town is the latest retail outlet to be hit by a recent spate of shoplifting

The recent upsurge in thefts from shops is showing little sign of abating after a number of department stores were once again targeted by opportunistic thieves yesterday (Wednesday).

Clothing and accessories retailer Penneys was the first to be hit when a woman was observed stealing clothes to the value €16.

She was arrested and at the scene and subsequently given an adult caution by gardaí.

Less than an hour later, Heatons store along Longford town's Ballymahon Street fell foul of a similar incident.

On this occasion, the male suspect who is aged in his early 20s walked into the store and took around €40 worth of stock before attempting to leave.

He too was arrested and brought to Longford Garda Station where he was later charged.

He is due to appear at a sitting of Longford District Court over the coming weeks.   

Details of yesterday's two episodes follow a series of other thefts which gardaí are continuing to investigate at retail outlets in Longford town.

ALSO READ: Longford Gardaí continue hunt for shoplifters

At this week's meeting of Longford Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Supt Jim Delaney said there needed to be a greater level of "buy in" from the local business community in order to crack down on shoplifting.

"We (gardaí) are putting in the visibility and resources but it is up to people to secure their property and to take advantage of any advice the Crime Prevention Officer gives to make it that bit more difficult for people involved in that type of crime," he said.

"We have identified vulnerable shops in the area and we are in discussions with them to see what efforts they can make and we will bring that to a pilot National Retail Forum through our community policing."

Supt Delaney said those efforts were being made with a view to establishing a greater "partnership focus" between the organisation and the "bigger retail units that are suffering."