Shoplifting is one of the most "under-reported" crimes of all.
In Tallahassee last year, there were more than 3,700 reports of shoplifting, and the Leon County Sheriff has launched a new campaign to try to stop it.
A sign is popping up in stores all over Leon County promising a free ride in a sheriff's car to anyone who shoplifts.
"It's going to help some. Somebody's going to read it and think about it and say, well, I better not. I'll go down to the next store that doesn't have it,” comments Big Lots Manager Todd Stalnaker.
Shoplifting costs retailers $10 billion a year according to a University of Florida study. Most companies plan for it in their budgets. At Big Lots on West Pensacola Street, they count on surveillance cameras and alert employees to keep losses to a minimum.
"I'd say about 75-percent are not worried about getting caught, about 75-percent of them. They pretty well know the routine. If they're shoplifters, they've been there,” adds Big Lots Manager Richard Pounsel.
These signs take a light-hearted stab at a serious problem. The sheriff saw one in central Florida, and pardon the phrase, stole the idea and brought it to Leon County.
"I said, you know, that's a good way to get the message out. If it attracted my attention, it'll attract someone else's attention,” says Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell.
There were 450 shoplifting incidents reported to the Leon County Sheriff's Office last year, and more than 3,000 reported to TPD.
The sheriff admits it'll be tough to tell whether the signs make a difference, but he says they certainly can't hurt.
wctv6.com Extended Web Coverage
Who is a Shoplifter?
Source: http://www.sba.gov/library/pubs/cp-2.txt ( The U.S. Small Business Administration Web site)