SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The owner of a store in the Brentwood Center on South Glenstone Avenue is stepping up security after noticing a trend of missing merchandise. She says she caught the latest shoplifter clearly on camera.
"We had noticed what we thought were some empty hangers and some signs of some shoplifting, but it had not been really a big problem until about six months ago," said Cathy Cooley, manager of The Market.
That's when the owner of the store says she purchased eight extra eyes to help her keep tabs on the merchandise. Just a few days ago, workers said one of those eyes spied a clear case of shoplifting.
"She's sliding the purse down. You can see her hand. She's kind of stuffing them in her purse," Cooley said.
It is hard to miss a four-square screen of live security footage when you walk into the store. Cameras are rolling all the time, capturing customers shopping, and the occasional thief shoplifting: a regular customer picking up a pair of $100 pajamas.
The video shows a woman using another item of clothing to cover up what employees say was an obvious purse stuffing, leaving an empty hanger that once held a $100 pair of desinger pajamas.
"One hundred dollars may not seem a lot to Dillard's or Macy's or one of larger stores, but this is a family business," Cooley said.
Workers at The Market said those $100 swipes have slowed significantly since they stepped up security. Any losses add up, however, and hurt their bottom line.
"You can't ignore it. You have to take measures to stop it," Cooley said.
Court records show the city investigates between 100 and 200 cases of theft of this type every month.