Keizertimes. (Salem, Or.) 1979-current, March 20, 2015, Image 16

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    PAGE A16, KEIZERTIMES, MARCH 20, 2015
THEFT,
continued from Page A1
“We’ve worked groups up
to Tigard and down to Med-
ford,” DeMarco said. “We
had a guy who was active
in Medford, then hit us in
Keizer repeatedly. Now he’s
back south. It can be rang-
ing in size from a single per-
son to groups of fi ve or six
people. Usually when it’s an
organized unit, it’s more than
one person.”
DeMarco said one strategy
groups use is return fraud.
“A person will steal some-
thing from the fl oor, exit,
then another person will try
to return that item with-
out a receipt,” he said. “You
have to show ID when you
do that. Once a loss preven-
tion person (at the store) sees
a high dollar item, they can
go through the video and
try to determine when the
item was stolen. So you work
backwards from the return to
the actual theft.”
DeMarco has been build-
ing relationships with store
employees – often stores in
some of the larger chains –
that specialize in loss preven-
tion.
“That helps us identify
people and the theft rings
coming in,” he said.
In addition, DeMarco
encourages merchants to at-
tend monthly SWIFT meet-
ings the third Tuesday of
each month at 11 a.m. at
610 Hawthorne Avenue SE
in Salem. The meetings, put
on by the Salem Police De-
partment, brings together
loss prevention specialists,
merchant representatives and
law enforcement person-
nel. Group participants share
about local crime patterns
and trends.
“It really helps us network
with others,” DeMarco said.
“I can sit and listen to what
the merchants have to say
and hear about crime trends.”
Lt. Andrew Copeland with
the KPD said Steele shares
data and information with
her counterparts at other law
enforcement agencies.
“Sharing the information
is critical,” Copeland said.
“If we worked by ourselves,
we would only get around 5
percent of (the thieves). We
also work closely with a retail
crime team in Tigard which
just does retail thefts.
Copeland and DeMarco
acknowledge Keizer Station’s
close proximity, while a boon
for shoppers, also makes the
shopping center an easy tar-
get for those with bad inten-
tions.
“By the time a (shoplift-
ing) call comes in, if we don’t
have a person in Keizer Sta-
tion at the time, they are on
the highway by the time we
get there,” Copeland said.
DeMarco said businesses
can help each other out.
“We encourage them to
take the initiative to contact
each other,” he said. “Some
stores are already doing that.
If you believe a theft ring has
just left your store and you
have contact with another
store’s manager, give them a
Well, that looks better...
KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy
A sign denoting the location of the Marie Dorion Kiosk at Pfc. Ryan J. Hill Memorial Park is now correct, after the original
sign had the last word spelled incorrectly.
heads up. Tell them to look
for these people with this
clothing and this vehicle.
Communications amongst
themselves will open so
many doors (for businesses).
Once the information can
be passed to the police, we
can target those groups. One
store may have a license plate,
one may have a description.
The more information that
comes in from different re-
tailers, we can put it all to-
gether.”
Since taking over the beat
last January, DeMarco has
built relationships, which he
believes are paying off.
“We have been able to
intercept people in the act,”
he said. “Because of the close
working relationships, we
have gotten tips on folks in
the area. Our goal is to, if
nothing else, be a presence for
folks in that criminal world,
to let them know there is
enforcement taking place in
Keizer. We want to be proac-
tive in our approach.”
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