Medford police make seven arrests in shoplifting enforcement operation

MEDFORD, Ore. – Officers with the Medford Police Department made seven arrests during a retail theft enforcement operation on May 30.

Several businesses partnered with Medford police in the operation. MPD is looking to deter theft and hoping to partner with more businesses in the future.

According to MPD, officers conducted the operation at the Medford Center with specific focuses on Burlington Coat Factory and TJ Maxx.

During the eight hours police were there, seven people were arrested for theft.

The operation was created through a partnership between local retailers, the Oregon justice department and Medford police.

MPD says it’s seeing a rise in confrontations between loss prevention employees and suspected shoplifters. In some instances suspects are armed with weapons like pepper spray, knives, and even guns which police say  this “has resulted in loss prevention not confronting suspects due to fear of being injured.” Police say they’ve seen an uptick in theft because of a lack of consequences. Businesses want to avoid lawsuits and don’t want their employees to be in potentially dangerous situations.

Medford Police Lieutenant Geoff Kirkpatrick said,

We’re seeing more people who are more brazen. They’re more willing to just walk in and push a cart out because when you don’t have consequence for things, and as businesses become more and more leery to physically engage with folks that are stealing from their stores, what’s the consequence to the folks that are going to just push out a cart? So, we’re trying to provide that consequence.

According to the department, because of this retailers are partnering with local police to plan more operations similar to this one. The aim is to proactively reduce theft in stores, apprehend suspects, and dismantle organized theft rings.

Medford businesses who are interested in partnering with the police department can contact Lt. Don Lane at 541-774-2292.

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