Roswell Police Sgt. Ty Sharpe conducted the inaugural mini-seminar on loss prevention for local retailers at the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, Thursday.
More than 20 retailers attended and received advice from the police about the laws pertaining to shoplifting and how to prevent it.
Among those in attendance were employees from Lawrence Brothers IGA, Farmer’s Insurance, First American Bank, Associated Records and Once Again Consignment. Representatives of Crime Stoppers and Neighborhood Watch also came to the information session.
Sharpe discussed the particulars of New Mexico state laws and dispelled some common misapprehensions. “The subject does not have to be out of the door with the item in order to be charged with shoplifting. If he concealed the item or attempted to conceal the item, that is enough.”
He explained that if two people are present, with one stealing the item and the other standing by, both will be charged. In addition, if one of the participants is underage, then the adult will also face felony charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Sharpe urged the merchants to call 911 when theft occurs.”That’s what we’re here for. Your safety is paramount.”
He said the shopkeeper does not need to wait until something has been stolen. “If it looks suspicious to you, then it’s worth a phone call.”
Sharpe said the retailers should take advantage of the criminal trespass laws. “Once the person has been informed of trespass, they cannot return. If they come back a second time, we arrest them.”
Retailers also talked about counterfeit bills. Sharpe noted that the $5 bill has become the preferred denomination. Recent counterfeits included one where the counterfeiter taped the number 20 over the 5 on a $5 bill.
Because the bill is printed on the correct paper, it would pass any pen test; therefore, merchants should note the president pictured on the denomination and make sure it is the correct image.
Police Chief Alfonso Solis commended Sharpe on the program. “I understand it was well received, and it was all Sgt. Sharpe’s idea, an idea I heartily endorse.”
The meetings have been scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Interested parties should contact the Chamber of Commerce at 623-5695 for more information.