One Safeway in Grants Pass is getting hit with shoplifters who simply walk out without paying for their groceries. Josephine County Commissioner Keith Heck says he wants to see an end to this pattern of careless crime.
Joan Quast of Grants Pass shops at Safeway and she wasn't happy to hear that shoppers are walking out of Safeway with groceries and no receipt. They're not paying because there aren't any cops to stop them.
Quast says honesty is the best policy and she wants these thieves to know there will be repercussions for their actions.
This particular Safeway in Grants Pass has become a target.
The grocery store has been dealing with these incidents for about a year now.
Ever since extreme cuts have left prosecutors with little choice. Estimates show that crime has gone up nearly 180 percent as of 2012.
Josephine County Commissioner Heck says "I have personal experience with different individuals who commenting to me, I might ask them about it and they will say reluctantly say yeah... thats what we do."
Commissioner Heck says shoplifters continue to steal because they can. The district attorney has no means available to prosecute misdemeanor crimes anymore.
Commissioner Heck continued by saying there needs to be a change and residents need to come together to help.
"Somehow convince 248 people or whatever it is that they need to change their vote next time."
Commissioner Heck is talking about a property tax levy that's failed every time it's been on the ballot. Had it passed he says they'd have the money to arrest these thieves and prosecute them.
"It just increases all kinds of costs..it increases car burgulary cost, it increase the insurance, all these things add up and it has a cumulative effect."
Others say people might resort to stealing food because they can't afford it.
Josephine County has several problems..high unemployment, increasing crime, and a lack of funding to prosecute crimes when they do happen.
It leaves Joan Quast wishing things were different.
We did talk to Safeway but they didn't want to go on camera.
However they did confirm that shop lifting is a big problem for them and they said they don't want it to continue.